“A proper Data Saving Sat Nav that gets you to where you want to go wherever you are in the world!”
[error]HERE Maps App Review…[/error]
Satellite Navigation systems have come a long way since I had my first TomTom hard wired into my Company Renault Espace! It wasn’t bad and I trusted it a few times to direct me on routes I was already familiar with, at one point it took me on some dirt tracks through the small town of Welshpool on the Welsh Borders and another time it tried to get me to turn left, then left, then left again, before turning left the way I had already been.
They used to take ages on finding an actual satellite until the likes of TomTom allowing you to download a quick fix app, which was more or less telling the Sat Nav where the GPS satellites would be between a fixed period. Lots of people hacked them to take speed cameras and a few people managed to add additional maps on to the systems also.
Sat Nav’s aren’t as popular anymore, some car firms have even made Sat Nav a standard feature. However when you go abroad and need to hire a car, they want to rip you off by charging something like £15 per day to hire a portable GPS unit. However, if you have got a smartphone, then the best thing to do is get HERE Maps
HERE Maps was actually owned and developed by good old Nokia, somewhere after they developed Snake for the Nokia 6210. Actually, thats not true. But it was developed by Nokia and originally only available on a Windows Phone, then later for Android and of course iOS.
Then a consortium of car manfacturers; Audi, BMW and Daimler decided to buy the whole thing from Nokia to help the acceleration of real time maps, development of other map based options and cloud systems and almost a universal app that can be used by all.
I know what you are asking me, what makes this better than Google Maps or even the infamous Apple Maps. Well although you can download and save a map on the Google Maps app, you can’t actually (at this moment in time) use it to follow directions, also there is a limit on what you can save.
HERE Maps gives you the ability to save whole countries maps to your device. Even the whole of Europe if you have a smartphone with enough storage space. And its brilliantly clear and concise with little errors.
I’ve been using this app now since October 2015, when Nokia was still just about in charge of it. My first country was Mauritius. Whilst very few people know where this is and can actually pinpoint it on a map, it has got a reputation for being one of the most dangerous places to drive in the world.
At first I couldn’t see why, but when that sunsets and everyone is still driving like a mad man, without lights. There are pedestrians walking into the road, people on bikes, you’d have thought you were on alive hazard perception test!
Yet it was perfect, all maps worked amzingly in Offline mode and got me around the city and the rest of the beautiful island of ile Maurice.
Even so much as recently I downloaded the Bosnia, Croatia and Montenegro maps for a recent visit to Dubrovnik and surrounding areas, whilst it took me one route and brought me back another, it was fail safe and couldn’t have been without it.
You need to be organised with this app, make sure you know where you are going and download the maps you need. If you are going to America, you won’t need all of the states, but just make sure you have included surrounding states in case you may drive into them. Some of the maps are huge, Europe itself is 10gb with the UK taking just 630.1mb The whole of North and Central America is approx 7gb.
Download these on a fast connection, or if you are still in the UK, use your mobile data allowance, just be careful if you have got a daft restriction like 1gb. Once you are abroad and your data romaing is off, make sure you find the first settings screen and sellect USE APP OFFLINE – this will ensure that you are not using data allowance.
A lot of the POI like Hard Rock Cafe’s, Marriot Hotels or even some coffee joints may not show up without a data connection, but it gets you to the main event and even street.
[alert]What Would Go Well With It…[/alert]
Well, depends on your automobile! But you need a 12v car charger for sure, or a battery backup. By the smartphone using the GPS constantly your battery life will get drained. I drove 5.5 hours to Podgorica and the phone only just lasted.
Also, I’d recommend some sort of iPhone holder. I keep meaning to get one of these CD Slot phone holders for my travels, but anything is better than the crap cupholders most cars come with in the centre console.