Photo: Kevin Smith, Business Insider
Today Nokia released a standalone iPhone and iPad app for Here Maps, its newly renamed mapping service.Our first impression: The maps are very functional but they don’t look that great.
But while Nokia’s maps aren’t the best-looking, the app is very fast and provides a key feature for urban dwellers that’s missing from Apple’s own Maps app: transit directions.
If you’re still upset with Apple’s Maps and are looking for a fast, accurate alternative, you owe it to yourself to check out Nokia’s offering.
Don’t take our word for it—CEO Tim Cook recommended Nokia’s Web-based maps by name when he apologized for Apple Maps’ poor quality. The native app should be even better.
Here Maps is available for iPhone and iPad and is free.
After you allow the app to use your location, you'll need to accept the terms and service. Read through and select Start if you agree.
And we're in. The first thing we noticed is how fast the app is. It located us quickly. The maps remind us a little of Bing Maps—which makes sense, because Nokia also powers Bing.
While Nokia's maps don't look that great they're very functional. You can choose different views: normal map, satellite, public transport, and live traffic.
The traffic view allows users to see accidents, construction, congestion and other things that would hold you up.
Getting to a location is easy too. Simply search for somewhere at the top. The predictive text feature, which guesses what you're trying to type, is actually pretty useful.
Our search for the Washington Monument turned up accurate results. (That's one of the landmarks Apple messed up on.)
Tapping on a point of interest will bring up information about that place. Users can access telephone numbers, see ratings, share the location, and more.
Directions were accurate and even gave us an estimated time of how long it might take. Overall, we were impressed with Here's functionality, but not with its design.
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