Nokia Here now available on Google Play: offline maps and more
Nokia Here is a mapping service that has been available for select Android platforms for some time now. Nokia launched it on Google Play today where all Android users who run Android 4.1 or higher devices can download and install it.
When you click on install you will notice that it requires lots of permissions of which at least some seem to be unnecessary for the mapping functionality but required for other functionality it makes available. It supports a feature to inform others by SMS or email about your current location which explains why it requires SMS permissions.
Once you have installed the app on your Android device and started it up you get the option to sign in to an existing account, create a new account, or use the application without account.
The app uses the location service if enabled on the device to display where you are right now in the world. If the location service is turned off it will display a different location.
In my case, it displayed a location in Berlin which is in the right country but many hours away from where I live.
Nokia Here supports a variety of mapping related features. You can search for a location to display it right on the screen, use the app for directions, or get quick information about specific places in the vicinity.
One great feature of Here Maps is the option to download additional navigation voices to your system. This includes male and female voices for popular languages which have a size between 3 and 7 Megabyte.
This is a cool feature to get restaurant or hotel recommendations, directions to administrative buildings or places to go out and have fun.
Another feature that users will find useful is the ability to download maps to the device for offline usage. This requires a Here account on the other hand.
You can set the app to only use data that is available offline which is another useful feature, especially if you have downloaded maps already to your device.
This means that you can use Nokia Here without Internet after the initial preparation phase. Map downloads vary in size but are usually between 100 and 400 Megabyte.
Other features, collections for example, are linked to accounts as well. They provide you with options to add places to collections for easier access.
Nokia Here is a very convenient mapping app for Android. Especially the apps' offline functionality needs to be mentioned here. While it requires an account for the map downloads, it can in theory be used without Internet connection after the initial setup.
This can be useful if you plan a trip as you can download all necessary maps in advanced to have them available wherever you go regardless of Internet reception there. (via Caschy)
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