Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nokia Here maps are terrible if you live in Japan.

Nokia finally released their Here Maps app for the iOS. I wanted to see if it would give better results than the Nokia Maps web app. But no, it is the same. There is hardly any difference. 

It’s not really the problem. The problem is, Nokia has nothing to offer to the Japanese. There is hardly anything on the map. Searching doesn’t show up any results except for big cities like Tokyo. When I searched for Nakanoshima (the town where I live), it would bring up Nakashima which is hundreds of miles away. Should I even say anything about directions when you cannot even search a single location? :/
No wonder none of the Windows Phones from Nokia comes to Japan through official carriers. That must be why iPhone and Android phones are pretty popular here.

Here’s an example. I checked to see how each mapping app (Nokia Here, Google Maps, Bing Maps) on the iOS would show up where I lived. Unfortunately, I don’t have a way to test Apple’s mapping app because I haven’t upgraded to iOS6. (Maybe in the future, if I can make up my mind to buy an iPad Mini.)

Nokia maps:
IMG_1007
That’s horrible! I don’t see anything. It’s like living in a dessert.
Google maps (yes, this is pre-iOS6 era):
IMG_1008
See how detailed it is. It’s just perfect.

Bing maps (web app):
IMG_1009

For some reason, the Bing app doesn’t show maps for me. So I launched the web version. It’s much more detailed than the Nokia Here maps, but still falls short of Google Maps. Windows Phone can survive, but I doubt it would have any transit information or proper routing information like Google Maps.

I just wonder why we cannot have a Google Maps app written by Google themselves for the Windows Phone platform?
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