Before the year is out, you will have yet another alternative to Google and Apple Maps. Nokia says that it will soon release a free-of-charge maps app on Android and iOS. Why? Because the company thinks that your current options are, well, stale.
“Google Maps is a good solution for many — their maps work very well — but it has looked the same and done the same for a long time,” Nokia executive Sean Fernback told The Wall Street Journal.
To differentiate, Nokia’s maps app will allow you to fully download maps for offline use as well as search and route without an internet connection. You can currently do this in a limited way with Google Maps, while Apple Maps doesn’t have any offline capabilities at all.
Unlike Google, Nokia has no plans to make any money with this app by showing ads, for instance. Presumably, offering the service to consumers would generate more signals to fine-tune Nokia’s rather good location engine, which currently powers Nokia’s digital-mapping platform that companies like Amazon and FedEx pay licensing fees to use. [The Wall Street Journal]