Free maps app coming from Nokia

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.

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You can read more about Nokia's mapping effort in a detailed article in The Guardian.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.