You may remember back in August Nokia released their alternative to Google Maps, Nokia HERE. The app was previously available on Windows phones, although in August Nokia released the app as a Beta version for android. However, differently to what we normally see with beta trials, HERE did not send out invites or ask users to apply for the app. Instead, the android version launched as a Samsung exclusive for Samsung smartphones. The app even came preinstalled on the Samsung Gear S smartwatch when the device launched.
However, in spite of its exclusivity, it was reported towards the end of September, that the app was working on all android devices (not just Samsung) running Android 4.0 and up. Since then, those who wanted to give the app a try had to head over to the app website, download the app remotely and sideload onto their device. This was due to the beta version not hitting the Play Store. Although, it now does look like that has changed. Nokia announced on the HERE blog (source link below) today that the HERE app is now available to download directly via the Play Store. This route will be a lot easier for those who are not so keen on sideloading. That said, according to the release statement today Nokia advised that the app had been sideloaded already over a million times. Interestingly, with the most users coming from Germany and the US.
If you are new to HERE, then in short, it is a similar app to Google Maps and provides detailed turn by turn directions. However, one of the big selling points of HERE is that the app can be used offline as well as online as the app downloads maps in their entirety. You can choose the maps to download including entire cities and countries. If you want to give the app a try then follow the link to head over to the Play Store. The app is free and the recently updated version includes language support for 18 new languages, which brings the total languages on offer to 118. If you want a bit more information then check out the video below. Have you tried HERE already? What do you think?