HERE for iOS has landed, and it couldn't be easier to get to grips with the best offline navigation app around. From signing in, to discovering your location and getting around, read on for all the basics.
1. Signing in
The first time that you use HERE for iOS, you'll be taken to a login screen. You can use your Facebook or an existing HERE account, you can register a new account or you can simply carry on without logging in.
It's well worth taking a few seconds to sign in though, as there are more features on offer. You'll be able to sync Collections for starters, accessing existing places or adding new map bookmarks to make it easy to navigate to your favourite destinations. We'll be bringing you full details on how to take advantage of Collections and other features, but in the meantime it's worth taking a few minutes to find your way around the app.
2. Find yourself
Map view is the first view you’ll see when you start using HERE for iOS, and the app will quickly centre on your location when you start it up. Want to know where you are? – look for the little green marker in the centre of the screen. If your iPhone is indoors or still hunting for satellites, the marker may feature a bigger green circle around it, using network towers and Wi-Fi to highlight your approximate location.
Give it a couple of seconds and once your iPhone gets a fix it’ll quickly narrow that down, showing off your exact location. If your handset still struggles to understand where you are, double check the phone’s settings (Settings > Privacy > Location Services) to make sure that location service are on and that the HERE app can access the iPhone’s location.
3. Navigating the maps
Now you know where you are, it’s time to discover other places, and there are lots of different ways you can interact with the maps.
- Use your finger to pan and browse the map around you.
- Pinch to zoom. Just like your web browser or photos, it’s easy to zoom in and out of HERE maps using two-fingered gestures. (Check out the offline maps option below for even faster browsing.)
- Rotate the map using a two-fingered twist – if you get confused you can always tap the compass button in the top-right corner to reset.
- Tilt the map by swiping two fingers up and down, making it easier to see where you’re going with a 3D view.
- Tap the layer icon in the bottom-right corner to access different views, from satellite to traditional maps, along with traffic and transit overlays.
- Tap the green circle at the bottom-left as soon as you want to see your position again.
- Tap it again to make the map automatically rotate in the direction you’re facing.
4. Settings and downloads
HERE for iOS has lots of other features on offer, not least the ability to download maps for offline use. Tap the menu button at the top-left corner, and you’ll be offered a host of different settings, including the ability to download those maps. And there are a couple of major reasons for doing so:
- Everything is faster, with maps that are even more responsive than their online counterparts. You won’t need to wait for downloads each time you pan, and it can prove especially beneficial if your phone drops its network connection.
- You don’t need a network connection. Although it sounds obvious, this brings a host of benefits in itself – you’ll save on data costs, your iPhone’s battery should last longer and you don’t need to worry about not being able to get a mobile signal when you’re underground or in the outback.
Tap the ‘Download maps’ option to get started. You’ll be able to pick the states and countries you want maps for, and the only limit is the amount of storage space on your iPhone. Individual countries don’t take up much room, however, thanks to the fact the maps are vector based, making it easy to add the maps for other countries that you intend to visit too.
Once you’ve added the maps of areas you want, head back to the menu, and check the ‘Use app offline’ box if you want to make sure HERE isn’t using any data. It’s worth bearing in mind that there are some advantages to using HERE for iOS in ‘hybrid mode’ though: offline available maps will be enriched with features like live traffic updates that promise to make your journey more painless. It’s just worth thinking about in advance before you set off on your journey.
5. Searching for destinations
HERE for iOS is the perfect tool to get you to your destination, and there’s a handy search function – which works offline too – to make things as simple as possible. All you need to do is tap the search box and start typing, with suggestions offered by HERE as you type.
If you’re not sure where you’re going, you can have a look at photos and reviews for the places shown on the map.
The app also remembers your last search terms, so that you can find places more quickly.
Tapping the ‘Signpost’ icon also lets you select your starting point (either your current position or a different location) and your destination, before selecting the type of directions you want. Once you’ve entered both, you’ll be given the option of choosing directions for pedestrians, drivers or traveling via public transit.
6. Check back here for…
We’ll be following up shortly, with more walkthroughs to show you how to get the best out of HERE for iOS. So check back here for information on turn-by-turn navigation, more details on offline mapping and using public transit with HERE for iOS.