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By 14 November 2012 | Categories: news

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In an interesting move Finnish phone giant Nokia has introduced HERE, the company’s new mapping and location-based service for multiple screens and mobile operating systems (OSs).

Under the HERE brand, Nokia is launching a map application for Apple’s iOS that is based upon HTML5 and includes features such as offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation, as well as public transport directions.

This application should address the mapping issues that iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users are currently experiencing with the new Maps application within iOS 6. It is scheduled to become available for download from the App Store in the coming weeks free of charge.

HERE will soon be here for Android and Firefox OS

Besides iOS, the Espoo-based firm is also bringing HERE to Google’s Android, announcing plans for the availability of a HERE SDK (solutions development kit, video posted below) for Android OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in early 2013.

The purpose of this SDK to allow Google’s hardware partners to create location-based applications for Android-operating smartphones and tablets using Nokia’s mapping and location content.

 

In addition, Nokia also unveiled a new strategic partnership with Mozilla to bring its new location experiences to the Firefox OS. Espoo plans on debuting a mobile web version of HERE Maps for Firefox OS next year, when the first devices powered by this upcoming platform are released.

In order to enhance the 3D capabilities of HERE, Nokia is acquiring earthmine, which developed reality capture and processing technologies for 3D map making as well as 3D street level imagery (ala Google Street View). The terms of this acquisition were not disclosed and Espoo expects the transaction to close by the end of the year.

“People want great maps, and with HERE we can bring together Nokia’s location offering to deliver people a better way to explore, discover and share their world,” said Nokia president and CEO Stephen Elop. “Additionally, with HERE we can extend our 20 years of location expertise to new devices and operating systems that reach beyond Nokia. As a result, we believe that more people benefit from and contribute to our leading mapping and location service.”

Crawford Del Prete, executive VP and head of worldwide research at IDC added: “Establishing a new brand is the right move for Nokia in the map and location business. Nokia’s assets in this space are world class. We believe mapping and location will be increasingly important to developing next generation devices and services across a wide array of segments.”

In related news, Nokia’s Location and Commerce business revealed that it is supplying global NAVTEQ Maps to power the next generation BMW navigation system, set to make its debut in the forthcoming new 7 Series.

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