While Nokia hasn’t experienced a rebound in the smartphone market in recent years, the company is hoping to use their mapping applications to get a grip on competitors’ phones in the coming weeks. On November 13th, the company announced that it would release a maps app named Here in Apple’s App Store.
Nokia Maps will offer unique features once offered only on Lumia devices (Nokia’s smartphones, which haven’t had much success) running on the Windows platform, according to Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO. The mapping services app will be based on HTML5 and will support offline mode, public transit routes and map directions that are voice-activated. These are features that aren’t available currently with Apple’s map app. Essentially, users will not have to be connected to the internet to save map locations.
The maps app will be free, and is designed for users of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Nokia is also partnering with browser company Mozilla to develop Firefox OS, its new operating system. News articles also claim that Nokia intends to release a toolkit that will enable programmers to create Nokia-powered mapping applications for Android phones.
It sounds like Nokia is making progress – even more, the company announced that it will acquire a Berkeley, California based mapping company, Earthmine, expecting the deal to close by year’s end. The company specializes in three-dimensional maps which show street views. How much Nokia will pay to acquire Earthmine was not disclosed.
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