By Jim Karpen on Wed, 11/14/2012
Navigation has become a crucial component of today's smartphones and tablets, and companies are vying to offer the best solution. Nokia has reportedly spent billions on a mapping solution, called HERE, and yesterday they announced they have a FREE app coming for iOS devices in the next few weeks. You can read their full press release on MacDailyNews. It sounds great: offline maps, voice-guided walking navigation, and public transit directions. “People want great maps, and with HERE we can bring together Nokia’s location offering to deliver people a better way to explore, discover, and share their world,” said Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop, in the press release.
A major component of mapping apps is the increasing use of 3D images, as in Apple's Flyover. Today Nokia announced they've purchased Earthmine, a company that specializes in 3D map-making. Nokia's mapping technology has a feature called LiveSight, which is based on a highly accurate, 3D map of the world. In yesterday's press release they said that "LiveSight provides the most precise and intuitive augmented reality experience and uses a phone’s camera viewfinder to make discovering the world as easy as lifting up a phone."
At the same time, rumors persist that Google is developing its own app for iOS. And Apple continues to focus on its Maps app. I think you can assume that you'll have lots of choices in the near future, and that they'll be free.
You can read more about Nokia's mapping effort in a detailed article in The Guardian.