Story 2015-02-14 33B3 Nokia's Here offline navigation for Android no longer in "beta"

Nokia's Here offline navigation for Android no longer in "beta"

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in mobile on (#33B3)
story imageNokia's up-and-coming "Here" maps and navigation app, available for free for anyone running Android 4.1 or above, is no longer in "beta" hitting version 1.1, and has added 3-D venue maps and improved routing. It now displays 3D maps for shopping centers and airports in 70 different countries and allows navigating through multiple floors with a sliding bar. Nokia also dialed back the interface in several different areas to preserve the screen real estate for the map content.

Despite being in "beta" for several months, and only becoming available on the Play Store in December, Nokia’s Here maps and navigation has grown to be one of the best alternatives to Google Maps on Android. A big part of its popularity is due to including one-click region-wide downloadable offline maps, with turn-by-turn voice navigation, for free. Whether you are on a carrier with patchy coverage, use a cheaper cellular plan and depend on WiFi for data, or just want to be sure you'll get properly rerouted when you miss a turn in an area with little or no coverage, offline maps, points-of-interest and navigation can be a killer feature, which Google does not offer. When you do have data coverage, the Here app also offers reviews for restaurants and traffic information using Nokia's venerable own Navteq traffic information, similarly used by Google Maps and most other navigation services.
Reply 8 comments

OpenStreeMap (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-14 20:45 (#33F6)

I'll keep using the opensource, fully offline, non-tracking, non-corporate-owned OsmAnd, thank you ...

Re: OpenStreeMap (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org on 2015-02-14 22:07 (#33HS)

OsmAnd is HORRIBLE. Doesn't know street numbers, requires carefully inputting an address across several fields. Has practically no POI. etc.

Nokia's Here is... not horrible. In fact it's very good. (Offline) POI is not as up-to-date as (online) Google Maps or MapQuest, or a select few offline non-free navigation apps like Sygic.

And if you're driving a non-trivial distance, traffic info is invaluable. It's not possible for any open-source, non-tracking app to give you traffic info.

Re: OpenStreeMap (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-14 23:11 (#33WW)

Mmmmh, in my region, I have tons of POI, even bicycle paths, hiking paths and street numbers, so I guess it is a YMMV situation. As for inputing address ("carefully" ? what does that even mean, can you type it with a hammer when using Here ?), I usually point on the map the place I wanna go and ask for directions, but yes there are improvements to be made to the UI.

The nice thing is that if your region is not mapped well enough for your taste (for POI, street numbers, etc.), you can just go to openstreetmap.org and fix it. It will be in the next update of the maps. Besides, independently of OsmAnd, I found that Openstreetmap is much more up-to-date than even Google Maps or MapQuest. New constructions, streets, buildings, one-way changes appear within a few days.

I guess there are crazy mappers over here and not in your city.

What I really miss though is the directions using public transportation that Google Maps provides in many big cities with timetables and all the bells and whistles.

Re: OpenStreeMap (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org on 2015-02-14 23:37 (#33YA)

As for inputing address ("carefully" ? what does that even mean
You can't just type an address as a single string into OsmAnd. Instead, it requires you tediously input it as separate fields, one after another, and only works in the proper order, like so:

http://media02.hongkiat.com/offline-gps-maps-osmand/address.jpg
but yes there are improvements to be made to the UI.
That's the under-statement of the decade. Frankly, it boggles my mind that it's possible to make something so awful. Seems like they went out of their way, trying to think of all the ways they could make it more horrible, instead of just copying the UI of Google Maps or similar.
The nice thing is that if your region is not mapped well enough for your taste (for POI, street numbers, etc.), you can just go to openstreetmap.org and fix it.
Yeah, in the same way the "nice thing" about a car breaking down after you get it home from the mechanic, is that you can just go fix it yourself.

Re: OpenStreeMap (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-15 11:30 (#34T6)

I agree that the level of details with OSM is much better, there are plenty of POIs on OSM not mapped elsewhere. But I agree with evilviper, the UI of OSMAnd is atrocious, especially the search which is god-awful as well as handpicking desirable POI categories. You can get used to it but that doesn't make it better.

Re: OpenStreeMap (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-15 17:59 (#35A0)

I just downloaded OSMAnd~ from fdroid, what the fuck...

Privacy
  • Take pictures and videos
  • record audio
Device Access
  • Google Play billing service
No thanks.

Re: OpenStreeMap (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org on 2015-02-15 22:47 (#35N7)

Re: OpenStreeMap (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-28 18:36 (#40WM)

No it isn't. I've just checked, and the Google Play Billing Service permission isn't mentioned at all in that FAQ. BTW, that FAQ page says it is deprecated and the content should now be here: http://osmandapp.github.io/faq.html#permission

That doesn't mention the reason for the billing permission either.

The billing permission requirement was added on November 4, 2014, in this commit:
https://github.com/osmandapp/Osmand/commit/275ea7728cac21815c633af4722d0066f0fc273b

But the message on that commit only says "Add billing permission" and doesn't say one word about why. And it is a separate commit from whatever changes to the actual code were made that use the permission, so it is not at all easy to learn what it is for.