Today we’re delighted to announce that the HERE Maps application for Windows 8.1, currently only available on the Nokia Lumia 2520, will soon be available for all Windows 8.1 devices, including laptops, desktops and tablets. Both Windows RT and Pro devices will be supported. The app will be free and available from the Windows Store.
Update: The apps is now live in the Windows Store, download it now.
As with the previous version of the app it is an all-in-one mapping solution, combining vector, satellite and 3D maps, points of interest, search and route planning. Complete country maps can also be downloaded for offline use, just like you may be used to doing on Windows Phone 8 smartphones.
There’s also a long list of improvements compared to the initial version.
First of all: speed. The offline maps load as quickly as your computer can manage, of course, so it’s a lot faster than using a website for navigation. But there are also speed improvements to the online portions. City pages, for example, now load up to four times faster, thanks to the use of progressive rendering and some clever optimisations to the data transfers.
Second, you can still use your touchscreen to control HERE Maps, and now you can also use your mouse and keyboard, which is a more useful option for most desktop PC users.
Third, this release supports our latest high-resolution satellite imagery. As you can see from the ‘before and after’ image below, this makes a pretty considerable impact on visibility at high zoom levels.
And there’s more. The app will keep a record of your search history and routes you have calculated. When you see a list of places, you can sort them by their distance from you, or by their rating. The app also takes advantage of Windows 8.1 preloading, which gets the apps you use frequently ready to launch in the background for a faster start.
HERE Maps for Windows 8.1 will be rolled out over coming days for free download from the Windows Store, starting in North America and Europe.
We look forward to receiving your feedback as the app arrives on your screens.