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Mobile Apps Features HERE for iOS HERE Apps

HERE for iOS – first reactions from the Web

HERE for iOS has been a keenly anticipated new release. And, as with the Android version, it’s been a smash hit at launch. After less than two days, it’s the App Store’s top free navigation app in Germany, and is number three in the US and the UK.

A lot of you have been waiting (semi) patiently for this app for several months and its arrival brought a lot of smiles.

 

Naturally, the ability to save maps offline for speed, convenience and cost-saving figures heavily among the reasons people want the app.

But the design of the app also wins hearts. 9to5 Mac called it “slick”, but we think @MeshalAlqasem hits the nail on the head:

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Into the details

Several publications were quickly able to offer readers a full review. Christian Zibreg on iDownloadblog wrote:

Nokia HERE features a nicely done user interface that honors iOS aesthetics while delivering a set of advanced features like turn-by-turn directions, rich database of points of interest and perks which cannot be found in Apple Maps, Google Maps and many other competing products, such as offline navigation and maps.

Although it lacks street-level photography and could use a tad crisper satellite photography for aerial view, HERE emerges as the best App Store mapping experience when it comes to usability, usefulness and navigation — especially in offline mode.

I wholeheartedly recommend giving Nokia HERE a try.

Meanwhile, over on Ubergizmo, Adnan Farooqui said:

The conventional mapping features are all present. HERE Maps for iPhone also provides users with public transit information, a crucial feature that is still not available in Apple Maps, apart from photos and reviews of locations and live traffic information.

Offline maps is one of the biggest features of this app. Users can store maps on their phone so that they can always access them even when there’s no internet connection. This feature comes in handy particularly when a user is traveling because this way they can not rack up roaming charges.

Michael Faro-Tusino offered a video walkthrough of the app’s features on Unleash The Phones.

 

 

Our launch also attracted the attention of industry analysts.

Neil Shah on the Counterpoint research blog created a very thorough briefing on the app and notes:

  • This is hands-down the best-in-class Search, Maps & Navigation app on iOS. Period.
  • Fully baked Offline navigation capabilities right out of the box is the biggest differentiator for HERE and offers tremendous value for iOS users which have been starved of good mapping & navigation app. Saving entire maps rather than an area propels HERE way ahead in location mapping race.
  • HERE is offering an impeccable design with this app from usability and features standpoint from search to routing to navigation

Comparatively speaking

Of course, we can’t please everyone. In fact, we suspect some people don’t want to be pleased. One commenter at AppleInsider was less than complimentary about the design:

I downloaded this, the map design is hilariously archaic, like Mapquest circa 2005.

I have this sudden hankering to buy a 1964 Cadillac DeVille convertible. Short of that, maybe I can find an old Palm Treo on eBay.

cadillac

We’ll leave the last word to Matthew Miller over at ZDNet, though, who gives a good summary of why iPhone owners will want to reach for HERE:

HERE lets you select countries and/or states and have full control over what maps you want downloaded onto your device. Offline mapping and navigation supports points-of-interest searching, as well as navigation by car, public transportation, and foot.

Here states that this new HERE for iOS app was written from the ground up for iOS. The previous version was based on HTML5 and had limitations the company was not satisfied with. I've only spent a couple hours with it, but things are looking good so far and I just may be moving back to HERE from Google.

So how about you? Any first impressions of the app to share in a comment?

BTW, if you haven’t downloaded HERE for iOS yet, go to the App Store now.

Update 16/03: The plaudits continue.  Gizmodo has just selected HERE for iOS as one of its app of the week. As Tom Pritchard notes: "Looking for directions on your phone no longer means you have to settle for the services offered up by Google or (hah) Apple."

image credit: That Hartford Guy

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