Nokia’s Here maps are migrating up from Windows RT to the full version of Windows 8.1, the company said in a blog post on Friday. Currently, the Windows version of Here maps is only on the Lumia 2520 — a Nokia-built Windows RT tablet — but will be free for Windows 8.1 tablets, laptops and desktops in the coming days through the Windows Store.
The mapping software is also getting some new and improved functions says Nokia. Look for faster map access both when on- or offline. Mouse and keyboard support have been added since Windows RT is driven mainly through touch while Windows 8.1 uses both input methods. Map images in Here should look better too, as they use the latest satellite pictures. And the app will show locations automatically derived from your search history.
At Microsoft’s April Build event, I anticipate that Here will be an example of how developers can support all of the Windows platforms easier: Microsoft is widely expected to “merge” its mobile and desktop software in a way that makes it easier for developers get their apps on phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. With shared or common code and APIs across Windows Phone, Windows RT and Windows 8.1, the platforms could become more attractive to developers as a result.