While Nokia’s days as a major hardware maker may be behind them, being free of Microsoft has allowed the company to branch out a bit. This has not only resulted in the creation of an interesting Android launcher, but Nokia has also recently brought its HERE Maps service to Samsung devices through a beta release.
If you are an Android user that doesn’t own a Samsung handset and find yourself itching to get your hands on an official copy of the HERE Maps Beta, you’ll be happy to know that Nokia is now spreading the love to other devices by freely offering up the APK for sideloading. Just about any Android handset with ICS 4.0 or higher should play nicely, though Nokia also recommends devices have 1GB of RAM and says the app will look best on a screen that’s 4 to 6-inches in size.
So what makes Nokia HERE stand out from other major GPS navigation solutions, including Google Maps? While many of the features are the same, HERE has the advantage of offering up the ability to download entire regions (countries, continents, etc) for offline mode viewing and doesn’t charge a cent for the privilege. Of course, it’s important to remember that the Android app is still a beta, and so don’t be surprised if you run into a few bugs and other minor issues.
To grab the APK for yourself, you’ll want to head on over to Nokia HERE’s website. For those that already tried it, what do you think of HERE, how does it compare to Google Maps?