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Post-Microsoft Nokia Offering Mapping Services To Samsung 67

Posted by Soulskill
from the will-map-for-food dept.
jfruh writes: With Nokia's Windows Phone handset line sold off to Microsoft, one of the company's remaining businesses is its Here digital mapping service. No longer feeling loyalty to Microsoft or its OS, Nokia has inked a deal with Samsung to supply Here services to both Tizen and Android devices, including the upcoming Samsung smartwatch.
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Post-Microsoft Nokia Offering Mapping Services To Samsung

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  • Good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @05:43AM (#47794547) Journal

    I use OSMAnd on my phone[1], but my girlfriend recently bought a Windows Phone and I've been very impressed with Nokia's mapping app (I actually like a lot of what Microsoft's done with Windows Phone 8, but it's a strange mix of very polished and well-designed UI parts and completely unfinished parts with missing features). It's good to see more competition with Google maps, which is becoming increasingly entrenched in spite of the fact that the UI is pretty poor in many regards and the mapping data is terrible. For example, here they're missing (or have in the wrong places) most of the cycle paths, which ends up with people regularly getting lost if they rely on Google, in spite of the fact that all of this data is in OpenStreetMap.

    [1] For me, it's the killer app for Android. Offline maps, offline routing, and open source backed by high-quality mapping data from OpenStreetMap. I use the version from the F-Droid store, which doesn't have the limitations of the free version from Google Play and it's one of the few open source apps that I've donated money to.

    • by a0me (1422855)
      Regarding Google Maps, I found that their quality depend entirely of who they're getting their mapping data from. In Japan, they're getting it from the biggest local mapping company there is, and as a result Google Maps are way ahead of OpenStreetMap/Apple Maps, and even other companies that use the same base data (Bing, Yahoo!, etc.).
      • I don't know about rural Japan, but I found the OSM data far better when I visited Tokyo a few months ago. Google didn't know building names and placed a load of things that we were trying to visit a few blocks away from where they actually were. This was very frustrating as the web site that we were using to find vegetarian restaurants used Google maps - we spent half an hour one lunchtime walking in the wrong direction, because we'd come to a junction and, according to the Google map needed to turn left
    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      Then this is actually bad news. Samsung got android exclusivity according to some reports.

    • by MrHanky (141717)

      Reporting errors in Google Maps used to be fairly simple, if you knew how, but the constant changes in the UI makes it difficult. When they first introduced bicycle maps, there were quite a few grave errors initially (up/down a stairway, along a motorway where bicycling is prohibited). They were fixed pretty soon after I reported them.

      After messing around in Maps for a while (web version), I see that it's still easy enough to report errors. Just click the speech bubble.

      • If I'm going to report errors in a map, I'd rather do so with a map that releases its data under a license that allows reuse. Since such a map already exists and doesn't have the errors in Google Maps, I don't see much incentive. Google can pull the data from there if they want. This is actually one case where Microsoft has been a bit nicer: they allowed OSM to trace their satellite images to improve maps. Google Maps, in contrast, is very protective over their data.
        • by MrHanky (141717)

          The incentive is of course to get a better map. I'm happy to report bugs in software I use, as long as it isn't too inconvenient.

    • by unixisc (2429386)

      I use OSMAnd on my phone[1], but my girlfriend recently bought a Windows Phone and I've been very impressed with Nokia's mapping app (I actually like a lot of what Microsoft's done with Windows Phone 8, but it's a strange mix of very polished and well-designed UI parts and completely unfinished parts with missing features). It's good to see more competition with Google maps, which is becoming increasingly entrenched in spite of the fact that the UI is pretty poor in many regards and the mapping data is terrible. For example, here they're missing (or have in the wrong places) most of the cycle paths, which ends up with people regularly getting lost if they rely on Google, in spite of the fact that all of this data is in OpenStreetMap.

      [1] For me, it's the killer app for Android. Offline maps, offline routing, and open source backed by high-quality mapping data from OpenStreetMap. I use the version from the F-Droid store, which doesn't have the limitations of the free version from Google Play and it's one of the few open source apps that I've donated money to.

      I fully agree w/ this. I have an iPhone now, but in another country, I had a Lumia 520 - the entry level phone. There, HERE maps were far superior to either the Google maps on Android, or the Apple maps of that space. Regardless of what one might think of Nokia, they did a good job in that place.

      On the Windows Phone itself, it was pretty good. Particularly compelling was the OneNote - the 2013 version completely changes how one can use the phone. But I wouldn't recommend the Lumia now given Micros

  • by ad454 (325846) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @06:15AM (#47794607)

    I recently picked up a cheap refurbished factory unlocked Nokia Lumia as a secondary phone, specifically for the free Offline Nokia Here Drive+Maps support. Considering the expense of getting a TomTom, Garmin, or iGO dedicated GPS unit with world map coverage plus unlimited updates, the Nokia Lumia was a much cheaper option. Having factory unlock, also allows me to purchase inexpensive micro-SIM GSM cards when travelling to avoid costly roaming charges.

    In fact, in my most recent trip to Europe, I used it specifically for drive navigation with a cheap removable phone bracket, and it worked just as good as dedicated GPS. Saving me much more than the cost of this phone compared to renting GPS navigation for 2 weeks from the car rental company.

    Furthermore, my Nokia phone is lighter, slimmer, and has better (> 720p) display than dedicated GPS. Furthermore, Nokia Here Maps, it also works great when walking around the city, looking for hotel and other POI.

    My only complaint is that despite having offline maps for just about every significant country, South Korea and Japan are suspiciously missing, even though I really need them. :(

    My biggest compliant with Windows Phone 8.1, running on my Nokia Lumia, is the lack of local offline backups (since I don't trust the cloud with my data), and device client certificate management needed for S/MIME, Wireless WPA-Enterprise, web client certificates, etc. Both of these are features are fully supported for years on iOS and Android, but Windows Phone 8.1 requires sending up MDM (Mobile Device Management Server) on WIndows 8.* to manage PKI externally, as oppose to on the device locally like iOS and Android do.

    For my next primary phone, I have want a phablet, and have been on the fence between upcoming iPhone 6 (with large 5.5" of higher display) or Samsung Galaxy Note 4, both hopefully available by the end of this year.

    Havinvg Nokia Here Drive+Maps with free downloadable offline maps on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 4 would be enough to tip the scales away from iPhone 6.

    • by lennier1 (264730)

      Don't forget the other advantages of satnav in a handheld device, like how you can take the device with you, save the spot where you parked the car as a way point.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Hi, I've got the Lumia. It's easier than that. When you reach your destination, you put your finger on the spot and hold it for a second to bring up the context menu. One of the options is "pin my location to start", and when you do that you get a map shortcut to your current location pinned on the start menu. When ever you want to get back to that spot, you just open the bookmark and you have the route mapped for you. When you're done, you just unpin the bookmark and it's gone.

        The funny thing is, Window

    • by DogDude (805747)
      Why not just use the mapping stuff that comes with Windows Phone? Seems to work just fine.
      • by mick88 (198800)

        The built-in maps do work just fine, however there are no spoken "turn-by-turn" directions anymore. In earlier versions of Windows Phone there was support for this, but no longer. The Nokia app has it & that's about the only reason to use it.

        I guess the other handy feature of the Nokia app is that you can change the perspective to a "driver's view" vs. overhead map view, kinda like what you see on TomTom or Garmin.

        • by DogDude (805747)
          So in other words, retarded people can no longer use the built-in Windows Phone maps?
    • by drolli (522659)

      Nokia never sold any phones in Japan. (it was impossible to even get a charger for my Nokia phone)

    • Many many moons ago (around 2009 I think) Nokia _did_ have maps for all of Japan available for download. They didn't have turn by turn navigation, but they did have all the streets. I used them on my E90 when I went over there and it worked a treat. Even better, if you wanted to you could use Google Maps on it to find a specific location, save it as a landmark in google maps and it would show up in Nokia's maps as well.

      When they upgraded to version 3 of the maps a few years later with the new firmware, t

  • by SpzToid (869795) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @06:16AM (#47794609)

    Nokia did not sell the name 'Nokia' to Microsoft, and from January 1, 2016, is free from Microsoft's shackles to sell mobile phones again. Microsoft can't sell "Nokia Lumias", only Microsoft Lumias.

    The option remains open to, for example, purchase Jolla and in doing so, regain much of the former Nokia team and (and their funky Linux from Finland, where it all started...) and use the modern version that's available to them of the OS that once was Harmatten/Meego, that drives the awesome N9/N950.

    In fact some of the funding to start Jolla came from severance packages to the team that was laid of by Elop, having delivered the N9, in spite of Elop's interference and obstacles on the way to enriching himself and his masters.

    • by sd4f (1891894)
      I doubt they will go back in. Nokia stuffed up massively, they got bought out, that's it. It's a real pity, because the lumia hardware has been nothing short of spectacular, unfortunately WP is a bit wanting, and MS were onto a good thing, but fiddled with it a bit too much in the latest 8.1 update and pulled quite a few good features they didn't want to keep working on.
      • ...the lumia hardware has been nothing short of spectacular....

        Except it wasn't. At launch it had a distinctive look(Like the N9), but the hardware failed to capitalise on Nokia technology...because it wasn't built by Nokia. It was part of Elops move to a more Apple model...or Designed in Finland(by Microsoft!?). High end camera technology simply ignored, keyboards simply not an option, and hardware dictated to by Microsoft.The fact that early models not upgradeable, due (in part) to their weak specification is simply more petrol on the burning platform that is Window

      • by Frankie70 (803801)

        What features did they pull? I recently updated my WP8 to WP8.1 - still haven't figured out what's changed.

        • by sd4f (1891894)
          As the other AC said, social media integration has been pulled and a lot of the best functions are gone. I understand that it was difficult to achieve, but the way they've pulled it, has really undermined their initial intention. There's a few other things which they've modified in an annoying way. Separate volume profiles was needed, but it's really annoying to put the phone on silent now. With that said, some really important features were added; file manager and ability to download files was a critical f
      • by hatchet (528688)

        I have totally different experience. Out of all modern mobile OS-es i like WP8.1 the most.

        But damn, those Nokia phones can't satisfy my needs. I just don't like too large displays - 4" would be perfect. But i also want that amazing camera from Lumia 930...

        So, alternative would be something like HTC 8x, but then i'm left without Nokia Here navigation...

        • by sd4f (1891894)
          The 830 rumours seem to make out that it may be the 'good enough phone' but will have the 20MP camera. I care little for 1080p displays, so don't really want something that drains more battery than it has to.
      • by dbIII (701233)

        I doubt they will go back in. Nokia stuffed up massively

        You missed a WAS in there - Nokia was stuffed up massively as a deliberate action.
        There can hardly be anything more blatant than an MS guy leaving to do his first CEO gig in a major multinational with the world's largest market share in mobile phones, then transferring that multinational to MS products, running down the market share and company value, then going back to MS as they bought the diminished company. It was a blatant corporate raid even if

    • by tuppe666 (904118) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @09:26AM (#47795023)

      The option remains open to, for example, purchase Jolla...

      Pun not intended...but that boat has sailed at least for Nokia. Nokia might be free of the shackles of Microsoft, but who is lest to care. Elops misguided 1:1 conversion from symbian to Windows Phone strategy when its company was twice the size of Apple and four times the size of Microsoft and growing has failed. it is not even in the top 10 of phone manufactures. Its brand irreparably tarnished.

      Elop is his desire to sell Nokia to Microsoft for Millions in his own pocket has cost Nokia billions, has cost tens of thousands of employees jobs(some still to go), manufacturing worldwide(Luminas are simply another third party Chinese phone), even its headquarters has been sold off. Its carrier connections destroyed though Its infrastructure is simply none existent. What is left is not a phone company...just another patent troll(I know they own more) waiting for a big buyout.

      I wish Jolla all the best, but for any success anyone e.g. Intel, Lenovo, Facebook all would be better choices. Nokia is simply not a contender.

      • by Frankie70 (803801)

        What is left is not a phone company...just another patent troll(I know they own more) waiting for a big buyout.

        Yeah, they own more. Their telecom equipment division has 13 billion dollars revenue.

      • by CptPicard (680154)

        I wouldn't call Nokia a patent troll if they enforce their patents more aggressively. So far they have been remarkably docile on that front. Nokia's patents are genuine inventions that the patent system is supposed to protect; if Nokia is not allowed to do that, we could just as well do away with the whole system.

  • It didn't come bundled on the Flame but Nokia have made it available on Firefox Marketplace.

    Which makes sense if it's all HTML 5 like Tizen.

  • Will download (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ebonum (830686) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @07:10AM (#47794713)

    Google maps doesn't work offline. I know you can download and save maps. I downloaded sections two months ago. They where about 11 to 13 MB each. When I needed it, I pulled out my phone. GPS worked and it took me to my location on Google Map. But there was one problem. Only the major roads had names. All the small roads were missing names. To get that part of the map you need to connect to wi-fi or a cellular network - which wasn't an option. Caching a section of a map should mean just that - the map and all the important stuff, like road names, get cached. Perhaps at this point all the smart people have moved on an left Google leaving only the marketing and business people. Google's absolute insistence that you should not be allowed to do anything without being connected is infuriating. I assume Google can't stand the fact that there might be 10 minutes when they are not actively tracking one of their users.
    To make things worse, when you have no signal and you need maps, you will find Google has deleted all your cached maps older than 30 days, so you are shit out of luck. Will someone inform Google that in most parts of the country it takes 3 years to build or change a road. Not 30 days. An old map is better than nothing. Actually, 99.99% of the time it is just fine.

    I previously used Nokia Maps. I only use the map. No directions or other crap. As a simple map, it was an excellent product. I don't need or want anything else other than a map with correct, up to date roads and road names. I somehow passed the 3rd grade, so I have the intelligence to figure out directions on my own.

    • by RDW (41497)

      This might be a problem with Google Maps 7. I haven't noticed it with Maps 6, which seems to do full caching, and is a superior app all round. If you're on Android, there are various methods of 'upgrading' to the previous version here:

      https://productforums.google.c... [google.com]

      You're still stuck with the annoying marketing-driven 30 day limit, though with a proper manager for the cached maps in 6.x it's easy enough to download exactly the same area again. There are a number of other apps that handle offline maps on A

    • It's not completely Google Maps fault.

      A lot of the mapping data it uses is tied to some pretty strict licensing requirements. Of course, now that the open street map data is getting really good in many areas, it's time for Google Maps to filter out the licensed-bound data in favor of the open data, but that's a conflict in the making and Google may suffer some backlash from the third party mapping providers it hasn't purchased yet.

    • You're forgetting that even if you have cached the maps in detail (e.g. by beforehand zooming in to all the parts you really need on your trip) the navigation still doesn't work without being on-line.

      After having toyed around with cached Google maps for years, this year I finally got a (2nd hand) car with navigator built in. No more mucking about when crossing country boundaries. Bliss at last.

      For my usage (EU, frequent border hopper), Google maps is excellent for planning a trip. Not so much for actual mov

    • Seems to be the big flaw in Google's Web-everything strategy, there are times we we can't be online, so need an offline option. I was in Indonesia a couple of months ago and didn't want to pay exorbitant roaming charges, so took my phone, but only to use the wi-fi at the hotel and emergency purposes. I tried to cache a few maps for use when venturing out but it didn't work. Google products are mostly shit. If they didn't have Search and Maps I doubt they'd still be around. If Nokia can kill their Maps marke
  • Anything (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vikingpower (768921)
    that will break the entrenchment of Google Maps, or contributes to breaking it, shoudl get our well-deserved attention.
    • that will break the entrenchment of Google Maps, or contributes to breaking it, shoudl get our well-deserved attention.

      Why?

      • Because Google Maps compares awfully with Open Street Maps and other mapping services. Moreover, Google has gained too much power, way too large a piece of real estate in the town called the Internet, and knows too much about too many of us. Google should be broken down into pieces, just like Bell once was.
  • here's (no pun intended) hoping that we can sideload the here app somehow on the rest of android phones

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