Nokia has confirmed plans to build the world's most powerful mapping service with voice-based walk navigation, offline maps, public transport directions, and even 3D views. Those plans include Apple’s iOS mobile operating system, in what is a cross-platform effort on behalf of the Finnish phone maker.Dubbed HERE, Nokia’s mapping offering is said to be the world’s first location cloud.
Finland-based Nokia attempts to “deliver the world's best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems.”
Of those operating systems, iOS will play a major role, according to the phone company.
An excerpt from Nokia’s press release announcing the initiative can be found below (emphasis ours). Per Nokia’s announcement, HERE will be downloadable from iTunes in a matter of weeks.
“To further extend its location services, Nokia is launching a maps application for iOS under the HERE brand. Based on HTML5, it will include offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation, and public transport directions. The application is scheduled to be available for free download from Apple's App Store in the coming weeks.”
Just like Apple’s own Maps application, HERE will offer 3D views as a result of a “planned acquisition” on behalf of the Finnish company.
Nokia has confirmed that it is buying Berkeley, California-based “earthmine” whose “reality capture and processing technologies will become integral parts of HERE's 3D map making capabilities,” according to the announcement.
The transaction is expected to finalize by the end of the year, Nokia said.
Echoing a belief that Apple has been forced to embrace that maps are difficult to make (because of the iOS Maps fiasco), Michael Halbherr, executive vice president of Location & Commerce said, “Maps are hard to get right - but location is revolutionizing how we use technology to engage with the real world.”
“That's why we have been investing and will continue to invest in building the world's most powerful location offering, one that is unlike anything in the market today,” added Halbherr, who is responsible for the HERE brand.