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.
Earlier this year in August, Nokia, the Finland tech company that is left after it sold its cellphone segment to Microsoft, introduced new versions of its Here mapping app, and additionally announced that the navigation app will be made available to Samsung handsets, particularly Galaxy devices powered by both Android and Tizen, as well as other Android-run devices. The app eventually arrived on Samsung Galaxy units in early October. As for the app's release date for other Android handsets, no announcement was ever made. It turns out that the release date is today. As stated in an entry posted in Nokia's Here blog, the app is already available for all supported Android smartphones starting today. Nokia stated that it is testing as many Android devices as they can, but the general requirement is that the device should have an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system or higher. The company also recommended that for best results, the smartphone should have at least 1 gigabyte of random access memory, as well as a display screen size of 4 to 6 inches. It should be noted however that Nokia is yet to launch the Here app for Android on Google Play. Instead, users are advised to “side-load” the app onto their devices from Nokia's official website, or side-load it onto their devices from a personal computer. Details are found here. It does make sense for Nokia to hold off launching via Google Play for now. The app after all is still in beta testing, and it is quite understandable that Nokia wants to perfect the app before giving it a wide release.
Back in August earlier this year, Nokia had announced that the Here mapping app would be coming to Samsung Galaxy phones. Well, it appears that the wait is over, especially for Samsung users who can not wait to use the navigation app in their Galaxy handsets. The Here maps app is officially available for download on the Galaxy app store beginning today. For the uninitiated, Here is a mapping app that Nokia created and kept -- even when software making giant Microsoft acquired the Finnish phone maker's mobile device segment. Previously, Here was only available for use on devices that run on Windows 8, Windows Phone, or Fire OS (the operating system used by Amazon for its Fire phones). Now, the Here maps app will finally be made available for Android users, too. Android users who are familiar with the app will be delighted to know that the Android version also comes with the features found in the Windows Phone and Fire OS versions. These features include turn by turn navigation, 3D, flat and satellite maps, the ability to use maps even if offline, and of course, Collections, a feature that collects the user's favorite hangouts. Aside from the mapping features, Here's Android version also includes Here Drive and Here Transit, which allows users to plot their trips while riding public transport.
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