Nokia has announced the biggest branding shift to its location services to date. Nokia Maps, at least on the web, will now be referred to as Here (available at here.net), and the company will be bringing a dedicated maps app to iOS. As for Android, it will be releasing a developer toolkit to allow developers to bring its mapping data to existing apps.
Nokia’s tagline for Here is simple, but expansive: “The world’s first location cloud that delivers a location platform, location content and location apps across any screen and any operating system.” The iOS app will be HTML5-based, so it will operate similarly to the mobile web version of Nokia Maps or Google Maps. It will provide voice-guided walking directions, but will not attempt to reproduce Apple’s free turn-by-turn navigation, which is arguably the best aspect of the company’s current Maps offering. Nokia will also bring guided transit directions to iOS, another feature that third-party apps have had to provide in light of Apple replacing Google as its maps provider.
Here will provide 3D Maps, which aim to improve Nokia’s augmented reality profile, by incorporating technology from newly-acquired company LiveSight. City Lens, currently available for Lumia Windows Phone devices, is the first app to incorporate such technology.
Nokia hopes to launch Here on iOS before Google Maps is approved for the platform. As for the Android SDK, it’s not known when the first apps will be introduced with NAVTEQ-based maps, but we’d imagine early next year at the earliest.
Read all the details over at Nokia Conversations.