HERE, But Not Now

Nokia is rebranding its mapping services as part of a push to re-establish its mapping credentials. It plans to launch a Windows Phone 8 app and a mobile web app developed with Firefox, as well as updated iOS and Android versions of its mapping app, all under its new HERE brand, which it describes as: “the first location cloud to deliver the worlds best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems”. Timings of the news releases have not been announced.

Capitalising on Google Maps absence from the latest iOS upgrade, and the poor Apple mapping service delivered since, Nokia is launching an upgraded free HTML5 app for iOS. It will include offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation and public transport directions.

A HERE Android SDK will also be made available to enable third party map integration, said to be coming early next year.

Last year, Apple brought 3D mapping in-house with its purchase of C3. Nokia has now announced the planned acquisition of Californian company earthmine. ‘Reality capture’ is among the company’s assets, as well as processing tech that will become integral to HEREs mapping and location services.

Nokia also announced a strategic partnership with Mozilla, including a mobile web version of HERE Maps for the Firefoxs new OS next year.

Nokias move has been positively received by Thomas Husson, consumer product strategy analyst at Forrester, who said in a blog post: “HERE is about addressing different types of connected devices – not just mobile phones but also tablets, connected cars, and wearables. As such, HERE could play a pivotal role in helping Nokia leverage tomorrow’s new mobile form factors… This is also about addressing different platforms – not just Nokia Windows Phone devices but also, initially, other Windows Phone licensees, such as Samsung and HTC.”