Nokia made a noise earlier in the year for selling their handset business to Microsoft, in an effort to consolidate and streamline their focus. In doing that, this summer the company announced that they would be bringing their widely popular HERE Maps platform to Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones that were powered by Android and Tizen. At that time, it was unclear when the mapping platform would find its way onto the rest of Android smartphones.
Fast forward two months, and the wait is finally over. For anyone interested in downloading, or running the immensely popular mapping app for Android – the system requirements aren’t that overwhelming. As long as your Android phone is running Android 4.1 or higher, otherwise known as any OS including Jelly Bean or newer, you can operate HERE Maps on your smartphone. The company said in their HERE blog that for best results, one should ensure that your device has at least 1 GB of RAM, and a screen size no larger than 6-inches.
If you want to download the app though, you won’t find it through the traditional methods. Meaning, HERE Maps for Android is currently not available in the Google Play Store. Instead, the download can be achieved through the Nokia website, or side-loading it through a PC.
Neither are too difficult, and both methods take no more than a few minutes. However, for those that are asking why the app is not available on the Play Store yet, that is really just a cautious choice made by Nokia. Technically speaking, the app is still in beta testing, and Nokia wants to ensure the product that makes the Google Play Store is something that’s worth being there.
Currently, the HERE developers are still accepting and evaluating feedback from the app, and how it runs – and a couple bugs that have already been noted are still a few weeks away from being fixed. Another reason that the app isn’t available on the traditional Play Store yet is due to the simple economics of having an app that is still in beta testing. Some have speculated that Nokia is holding off because they can clean up the code before they begin any partnerships with other Android manufacturers.
HERE Maps has grown into a formidable opponent for mapping platforms offered by Google and Apple. Nokia clearly intends to really create a laser-focus on the HERE platform, where they feel they can thrive.