Nokia’s(s NOK) big bet on mobile maps is now in Apple’s iOS App Store. The free app, called Here, showed up Tuesday morning, just a few days after Nokia introduced the service.
Apple’s own Maps app has been heavily criticized, and Google (s goog) does not yet have a Maps app for iOS ready, so Nokia’s timing in offering an alternative on the iOS platform is good as it tries to build up its user base. Here has a few things going for it that Apple’s Maps don’t: offline availability, in-app public transit directions, and voice-guided turn-by-turn directions for walking.
But Here has its own quirks. The look of the maps aren’t as crisp and clean as Apple Maps. The Verge was able to take the app for a spin, and was impressed by some features, while disappointed in others, like the incomplete transit directions.
Incomplete transit directions and other missing data should be filled in the more people use Here — which is why getting on a widely used platform like iOS is so important to Nokia.
Here will eventually be available on Android(s GOOG) and in Mozilla’s forthcoming Firefox OS.