According to TNW, in a bid for mapping supremacy, Nokia will be winding down their WP app development for HERE in favour of iOS and Android. It isn’t being phased out completely (or not yet) but limiting the resources currently set for the WP version. Nokia is still currently having talks with Microsoft about that.
Nokia will still maintain HERE on WP because they have their brand on it and they want to look after that.
There’s talks about the issues that led up to the HERE maps on iOS, a separate article and an interesting acknowledgement of mistakes from Nokia.
There’s apparently a ‘master code base’ that is platform agnostic. Should Nokia wish to reinvest in WP again, they just get the new codebase and recompile it for Windows. Nokia is working with their once biggest competitor, the one who dethroned them as the biggest phone manufacturer and launching HERE for Android as an exclusive on Samsung. Great distribution for Nokia, even more independence from Google for Sammy.
Nokia isn’t necessarily following or directly competing with Google, but providing an alternative through addressing user needs. Well, in their words.
With regards to the article, here is a comment from Pino at WPC.
1. HERE is powering Windows Phone and that’s not gonna change (for at least 4 years) [later comment correcting 10 years]
Microsoft entered a license agreement with HERE to use our mapping platform for at least 10 years. This is why you see HERE maps on Windows Phone not only in the HERE apps but also in the Facebook app, in the Foursquare app, in the Instagram app and many more, even in the Uber app.
2. Offline maps aren’t going anywhere either
Licensing our mapping platform doesn’t mean that Microsoft is only using our data, but thy have access to our full capability, including the possibility to store maps offline.
3. The more people use HERE the better it gets for everyone
Every cloud based service lives with user input. The more you use Amazon or Facebook, the better they get and we’re not different. The more people use HERE, the better it gets for everyone. Don’t you want better traffic info on your Windows Phone? That’s why we have to enable also your friends with an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy to use HERE so that everyone can take advantage. We used to develop for “Windows Phone first”, now “all OS are equal”.
4. The map apps on Windows Phone will get better
We haven’t stopped developing for Windows Phone, but we are discussing with Microsoft how to proceed. At the end, whether as a HERE app or not, your location experience on Windows Phone will improve. Btw, we updated the maps on Windows Phone just a short time ago and more updates are coming soon.
Following the comments further, I do agree that there should be better crowdsourcing. Pino notes that in some countries, Map Creator is not open to the public but to professionals or students of cartography due to wanting quality not quantity. But I also agree that this slows them down. There are so many times that I’m searching for a very obvious place of interest on HERE that it cannot be found! I love the maps, it’s saved me so many times and POI has improved immensely but when I can’t find it on HERE I have to go to gMaps and that’s a shame.
Perhaps MS is doing something in house with regards to a mapping app (Could Bing Maps take over, hence HERE ramping down?). Still with HERE data but bolstering their own offerings?
Category: Windows Phone