Nokia's HERE  (Source:
It will be available for Mozilla, iOS and Android

Nokia announced a new brand for location and mapping services called HERE today, which will be available for several mobile devices. 

HERE is a cloud-based brand and platform for location/mapping, and Nokia is hoping that it transforms mapping industry in a big way. HERE will provide the most comprehensive mapping service to date with 3D mapping, public transport directions, voice-guided walk navigation and more. 

"People want great maps, and with HERE we can bring together Nokia's location offering to deliver people a better way to explore, discover and share their world," said Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO. "Additionally, with HERE we can extend our 20 years of location expertise to new devices and operating systems that reach beyond Nokia. As a result, we believe that more people benefit from and contribute to our leading mapping and location service."

While Nokia is the main hardware maker for mobile Windows devices, such as the Nokia Lumia 920 for Windows 8, the new HERE service will not be exclusive to Windows devices. Nokia made it clear that this will be available for Android and iOS-powered gadgets as well.

In fact, Nokia will offer a HERE Maps app for iOS in the next few weeks. In Q1 2013, it will introduce an SDK for Android. 

This new brand will also be available in Mozilla Firefox based on HTML5. 

Nokia mentioned its recent acquisition of Earthmine, which will largely contribute to HERE's 3D capabilities in the future. 

Offering a new mapping service for multiple devices and OS' is a smart move, and will likely directly compete with Google Maps. Google developed Android, so it makes sense that Android devices use Google Maps for location services. Apple, on the other hand, recently gave Google Maps the boot in favor of its own in-house mapping app. However, that app turned out to be a disaster, with issues in both geography and navigation. Its initial failure even got its maker, Apple's former VP of iOS Software Scott Forstall, fired. 

"Maps are hard to get right - but location is revolutionizing how we use technology to engage with the real world," said Michael Halbherr, Executive Vice President of Location & Commerce and responsible for the HERE brand. "That's why we have been investing and will continue to invest in building the world's most powerful location offering, one that is unlike anything in the market today."

Several companies, like Oracle and Amazon, have looked to Nokia for mapping partnerships in the past year. 

Source: Nokia

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