Nokia has removed its Here Maps app from the iTunes App Store, denying new and future users of Apple’s iPhone the chance to use its navigation software. In a statement provided to Engadget, Nokia blames iOS 7 for the decision, saying the changes made “harm the user experience,” of Here Maps. It doesn’t expand on exactly how this happens.
Here Maps was released in November 2012, and was one of the first to capitalize on the Apple Maps mess, and the removal of Google Maps from iOS. It brought crucial features missing from Apple Maps, such as public transport navigation, and offline mapping.
We weren’t terribly impressed with Here Maps when we tested it out, but subsequently found it had improved, and it was one of the better parts of Firefox OS. It’s also a great performer on Nokia’s Windows Phone handsets. Here Maps is also pre-installed on Jolla’s Sailfish OS-based smartphone.
It’s surprising Nokia has taken the decision to remove Here Maps from iOS, as since selling its Devices division to Microsoft, it is one of the firm’s three primary businesses. Fixing any problems with the user experience, whatever they may be, would seem like the preferred course of action, if only to maintain a presence in a competitor’s application store.
Perhaps Nokia thinks by providing universal access to Here Maps for smartphone and tablet users everywhere, just by visiting here.com through the browser, is enough to keep people using it. As Apple Maps has improved, and Google Maps is now available for iOS, we’d be surprised if many will bother.