Nokia launched a beta of its HERE mapping app for all Android devices, after previously only making it available for users of Samsung devices.
Users of other Android-powered phones only have to wait a couple of weeks to gain access to the mapping service which features more advanced offline navigation capabilities than many rival products.
By using maps that are downloaded and stored on the device, HERE is able to navigate more quickly and function when data connections are interrupted. Voice files for guided navigation can also be downloaded and stored in the devices.
Offline navigation does however mean users will have to go without live traffic information and satellite images.
Nokia is in the process of making changes in response to user feedback from its launch on the Samsung Galaxy Apps Store. One tweak involves fixing an issue in which some ‘cache cleaner’ apps accidentally delete the navigation voices in HERE.
The fix is promised for the next few weeks and users are advised in the meantime not to use these types of apps if they want to use the voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation functionality of HERE.
HERE has not been launched in Google Play, but is instead available to download from the Nokia HERE website, after which it can be side-loaded onto Android smartphones.
The app is compatible with phones running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) or higher, although devices with at least 1GB of RAM and a screen size of between four and six inches are recommended.
The imminent launch of HERE for Android and iOS was first reported at the beginning of September, although the iOS version is yet to materialise.
Now that Nokia’s HERE mapping business no longer needs to primarily support the company’s struggling handset business, which has been sold to Microsoft, it can make its mapping technology available to a wider range of consumers.
Nokia also recently struck a deal with Samsung to bring its mapping technology to Tizen, the open source operating system being backed by the South Korean giant.