Well, we’re not entirely convinced that many people will care about this as such, but given Nokia’s apparently combative stance on the subject, we thought it would be worth sharing. The more we think about it, the more puzzled we get.
The meat of the story is rather uninteresting. Nokia has decided to pull its HERE Maps app from Apple’s iOS App Store with immediate affect, preferring instead to leave fans of the app with no choice but to either use Apple’s Maps app, switch to Google Maps or head on over to its own Web-based solution that will continue to work just fine on iPhones and iPads. It’s just the app that’s gone away.
Given the fact that we’re willing to bet the vast majority of iOS users simply use the supplied Apple solution, and that everyone else – power users like people reading this – will have installed Google Maps instead, we’re going to go ahead and assume that the mourning for Nokia’s HERE Maps app will be minimal. But it’s the company’s reasoning that has us stumped.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Nokia said that the reason for pulling the app was that Nokia felt iOS 7 harmed the user experience. Yes, harmed.
“We have made the decision to remove our HERE Maps app from the Apple App Store because recent changes to iOS 7 harm the user experience. iPhone users can continue to use the mobile web version of HERE Maps under m.here.com., offering them core location needs, such as search, routing, orientation, transit information and more, all completely free of charge.”
Confused? So are we.
From what we’re being told by people who did use the app, Nokia’s mapping solution was starting to creak under the iOS 7 pressure, with bugs popping up here and there. Is it possible that Nokia simply couldn’t make its own app work and threw in the towel? Other developers have complained about user interface oddities here and there, but we’re drawing a blank when trying to think of any that have dumped the platform completely. We’re also a long way into the iOS 7 cycle, with months of testing coming before its September release. Nokia’s decision of this week to pull HERE Maps is strange, but thankfully we suspect few will really care that much.