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Nokia says they are giving iOS mapping another try

Mel Martin

Nokia had a pretty bad experience with its Here Maps on iOS late in 2012. I reviewed the app back then and found it wanting in almost every way.

Now the company tells the Wall Street Journal it's ready to try again with a new, improved navigation app for iOS.

The app will come from the part of Nokia that Microsoft did not buy. Nokia has been very active in mapping for years, usually in business settings. But Nokia executive Sean Fernback told the Journal that the company wants to be in the consumer space. He added that he thought people were looking for an "alternative to Google and Apple navigation apps", and the Nokia app will let users fully download maps so the app can be used when there is no data connection. Google and Apple do something similar, although Apple's implementation gives users very little control over what is cached.

I'm not sure consumers are clamoring for another mapping solution. Google Maps is wildly popular, and after a really rough start, more people seem pleased with Apple Maps, especially the way it integrates with Siri.

The new app, which doesn't have a release date, will be based on the Here mapping technology that the old app was based on. Nokia expects the app to roll out before the end of this year. When I tested the original incarnation, the points-of-interest database was very thin, and the satellite photos were out of date compared to Apple and Google.

Competition is always good, but Nokia stumbled pretty badly the first time out. I'll review the app when it appears and see if Nokia has learned any lessons.

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