HERE app unleashed to all Android users after leaking the source files
HERE, the mapping brand of Nokia is launching their navigation app to all Android users. The app has been already available for a few weeks to Samsung Galaxy devices owners through the Samsung app store, but according to HERE’s blog post you will be able to install the app on all supported Android smartphones.
Three weeks ago Android Police reported that Nokia leaked the beta files of the app. Is it a coincidence that HERE has made the files available to everybody just few weeks after big announcement of a partnership with Samsung? One could imagine that Samsung paid HERE for licenses for the app. With freely available app HERE might only gain probe data for traffic services and brand recognition of users outside Windows Phone OS… The new app for all Android users is however not available through the Google Play app store. One must download the installation file (APK) from HERE’s website and install it manually using developer mode one your Android phone. It is a bit more complex to execute for mainstream mobile users but it only proves our suspicions why Nokia decided to made it open for everybody.
THE APP ITSELF
The app itself is a much better attempt to win mobile market than HERE’s terrible iOS app which has been finally removed from the iPhone AppStore. I still keep it on my iPhone just to remember how not to make mapping apps. This time the app is really cool. Nice design, cool features.
BETTER THAN GOOGLE MAPS? NO BUT STILL IT’S A MUST HAVE!!!
Some people say that it’s better for navigation than Google Maps, as the app which has been designed solely for that purpose. Personally I don’t agree with that opinion. Google Maps is the best free navigation out there with the most accurate real-time traffic information which is actually used really well in the app (which is not common even in paid software). But HERE has one major advantage which makes it must have app on your Android phone. It allows you to download whole countries for the offline mode, which is truly a deal breaker for a well designed and free navigation app.
Must have for every geo-geek – new Google’s Earth View extension for Chrome
If you consider yourself a geogeek this news is definitely for you. Google has launched a new extension to its Chrome web browser called Earth View. Every time you open a new tab in your browser it displays a beautiful Satellite image from Google Maps. And the coolest thing about it is that you can click the globe icon in the corner and see the photo inside Google Maps.
This simple project is so cools that I’ve been opening new tabs in Chrome for 30 minutes before I started to write this post. It’s a must have.