Here, the mapping app developed by Nokia, is finally available at the Google Play Store. Earlier this year, the Here app was made available only to certain Samsung Galaxy devices. Although it was later expanded to include more Android devices not made by Samsung, the availability of the navigation software was still pretty limited.
Well, that is about to change because any handset that runs on Android 4.1 or higher can now install the mapping app directly from the Google Play Store.
According to Nokia, most of those who downloaded the beta version of the Here app came from the United States and Germany. That the app is already a hit in other countries is no big surprise. The Here app after all already has maps for 118 countries. The latest edition has even added 18 new regions, including Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cyprus, Iraq, Libya, Mauritania, Mauritius, Nepal, Paraguay, Saint Helena, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
What about iOS users? Will they be able to use the Here app too? Interestingly, Nokia previously offered Here maps to Apple devices. But the Finnish company withdrew the app from iOS a year ago because at that time, changes that were incorporated in iOS 7 affected the overall user experience of the navigation software. But iOS users need not worry too much -- according to Nokia, there is a very good possibility that the Here app will make a return to the iOS platform sometime early next year.
Despite having only limited availability initially, Nokia's Here app has proven to be a hit. The company claims that more than a million users have already downloaded the mapping app since it was launched earlier this year.
And now that it is available at the Google Play Store, the Here app should enjoy a far wider reach, essentially becoming available to any country or region that has access to the Play Store.
As for users everywhere, the Here app has a lot to take advantage of. The app is equipped with voice-guided navigation, offline map use (users can utilize the app even if they are not connected online), public transportation information, and location sharing with friends/contacts.
The fact that the Here app is getting attention from Android users is truly interesting, especially when you consider that Google has its own native mapping app, but device owners still make use of Nokia's navigation tool anyway. Score one for the Finland-based company.
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