Apple’s new Maps app leaves a lot to be desired, and while there are some decent alternatives out there, the only worthy replacement for Apple Maps is either Google Maps or Nokia’s Maps. Neither company has an iOS app ready to go just yet, but Nokia is planning to change all that.
In a few weeks Nokia plans to release a maps app for iOS called Here. The app will be free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners, and Nokia is hoping that it will persuade some iOS users to try out their smartphones as well.
Nokia is also helping programmers make Nokia-powered map apps for Android phones as well via a new toolkit they’ll release around the same time as the iOS app. Nokia’s mapping database is one of the most powerful and thorough in the world, as the company has gained access to private location data from companies like Fed-Ex and UPS.
As reported by the New York Times, Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop, says the reasoning behind Nokia’s decision to bring their maps to iOS is that they need as many people using it as possible to guarantee the accuracy of their data.
“For the location platform to be at the highest quality, one needs scale, and you need as many different people contributing as possible,” Mr. Elop said. “Of course, Nokia will build apps, some of them unique to Lumia devices, that gain a competitive advantage for Nokia.”
We put Nokia Maps through the paces back in September and found that it’s one of the best mapping platforms available. To have Nokia’s mapping platform on iOS is great for users, and it puts more pressure on Apple to improve their own app that’s come under fire since the release of iOS 6.
If Nokia is able to get their app into the App Store soon they may beat Google to the punch which would help them convert a lot of people to their platform and away from Google Maps. The big question then will be whether or not Apple can win users back with their own improved Maps app.