Nokia has launched a new versions today of its global maps and navigation app for Apple's iOS devices, called Here maps -built on its Navteq database of locations and traffic reports.
The app uses the same database as Nokia's previous maps product, and is a free download for iPhone and iPad that lets users look up points of interest, calculate routes from their current location (determined by GPS, or triangulation based on Wi-Fi) and see live traffic information.
Limited offline caching of maps, so you can save maps for when there is no connectivity, is also supported.
The mapping data appears to have greater mappping detail than Apple's Maps App, and also offers public transport and walking directions, although the public transport directions appear to be in beta, and not offering results.
Maps within the app are sourced from Navteq, the company Nokia bought in 2007 for $8.1 billion.
A quick comparison locally with the Apple Maps App
showed the native app, to be expected, much more responsive on a iPhone 3GS (as the Nokia app is optimised for iPhone 5 and is not vector based data) and the graphics of the Apple app much more colourful, more clear and more logically laid out than the Nokia app.
Apple's app lacks any walking or public transport data - plus Google's web app and Andriod Maps also have cycling routes.
The Waze crowd source mapping app (third image), while visually more crude also is responsive and offers turn by turn naviagtion, with sound alerts when turns are expected.
Google were yesterday reported as almost ready to release an iOS version of their mapping product. According to Wall Street Journal it hadn't yet submitted it to the iTunes App Store for approval, but has been sending it out to individuals outside Google.
There may be business reasons for Apple to delay approval, but having apologised for errors in its own Maps app it would be only yet more bad PR in drawing attention to its shortcoiming should it prevent the release - having removed the Google version as a built-in App for its recent upgrade to iOS 6.