HERE Drive Beta updated, adds mysterious improvements

Nokia has rolled out an update today for both HERE Drive Beta apps on the Windows Phone Store. Not only can Lumia owners rejoice at their turn-by-turn navigation solution being bumped to 2.2.2156.8, but so can all Windows Phone consumers since Nokia has a second version of its popular and well rated app for all other OEM smartphones on the Windows Phone Store. So what's new in the latest release?

We're not entirely sure, if we're honest. There's no updated changelog available (since we last looked at HERE Drive Beta just last month), but we imagine there to be minor improvements included. If you happen to notice anything new we've overlooked be sure to hit us up in the comments.

You can download Nokia HERE Drive+ Beta from the Windows Phone Store (for Lumia owners - left QR code), and HERE Drive Beta from the same store should you own a non-Lumia Windows Phone.

QR: HERE Drive Beta

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Anyone find out what was added/changed? 
  • I was hoping on roads list, but I guess not yet
  • I'm guessing a GPS Fix. EDIT: GPS is still a little wonky but it corrects itself in about 5 seconds.
  • Yes...common favorites and customization per change log. I believe speed limit settings are new. Also feets/miles option id new (compared to yards/miles) for US.
  • Maybe I didn't see it before, but the Speed limit alert menu seems new when you click on your speed in the map view.
  • The speed limit settings, as well as the distance settings were there before.
  • As were the common favorites between apps - None of the change notes apply to this version... Nice try though!
  • Speed limit is not new.  I had it for a month or so.  But I just bought the phone not too long ago, but this current update is does not add that. 
  • It's funny to think how we're all so excited over an update despite not seeing any notable changes, lol. And the best part is I'm one of those people, lolol. Cheers WPC junkies!!!
  • i want it on my thc 8x in israel!@!@!@!@@
  • So is there any reason to have the Nokia version over the non Nokia version?
  • Global Navigation license vs. regional license. 
  • You're able to download the maps directly on your phone and not use data service once downloaded. That's the feature I like.
  • It is a 7mb update.
  • Original file might be more, 7mb just to download it from the store
  • True. Just stating dl size.
  • I'm nonplussed that 7.8 only has Nokia Drive.
  • However funnily enough the Nokia Drive on 7.8 is at the moment much more reliable than Here Drive+ on wp8. Usingboth a lumia 800 and lumia 920, so telling you from personal experience.
  • i think its the compass sensor.. which is better now.. cos North use to be inbetween N n NE 
  • If that's true, thank goodness. That and the GPS was really messing things up for me.
  • I found that before was missing "Map Features" on "Settings". Now you can set to show on map "Car Dealer/Repair", "Car rental", "Cash Dispenser" among other things.
  • That was implemented with an last update before this one.
  • it doesn't seem to work at all for 8x verizon, just gives you a missing sim card error then forces you to close it
  • That Nokia wireless charging car dock cannot come soon enough.  Perfect GPS setup for your car.
  • This!
  • But Lumia 920s can't charge and run drive at the same time.
  • What planet are you living on? My 920 works fine with Drive while charging.
  • What are you using to charge ur Lumia in the car?
  • Personally I charge my 920 in the car through a car lighter adapter that has a spot for a USB cable
  • I use car charger with 1A power output. Its charging my 920 nicely. I did once tried charging 920 to USB port in the car audio player. It drains faster with GPS on, but manage to charge with audio bluetooth turned on
  • I wish they added a list of upcoming directions/list
  • Yes please!!!
  • I now see an icon of a battery bottom left of my screen
  • That came with the previous update.
  • The Car Dealer/repair stuff was there before in Map Layers I believe.. The battery icon seems new. Thought it was related to the 'battery saver' in settings but it isn' the main battery guage I guess.
    Here's a list of 'what's new' from the WP8 Store d/l page...
    - Sync favorite places with other HERE apps and
    - Additional customization options to tailor your driving expwerience to fit your needs
  • Battery WAS there already in previous version.
  • Thanks for the info guys
  • Here is the change log (I think). Courtesy of MyNokiaBlog.
  • Hi guys, this is Pino from the HERE team at Nokia.
    This version of HERE Drive+ fixes some minor bugs, that's all for this time.
    The 'map features' someone mentioned, were introduced during the last update 2 weeks ago.
  • Thanks for the info. Can you give us a heads-up on what the next update might contain :)
  • Just follow @heremaps or ;-)
  • Please tell us the next update includes a list view of upcoming turns and spoken/written display of destination address at end of routing (for when you are driving somewhere that doesn't have a huge sign out in front if it).
  • Spoken destination would be great. Often I forget the street number, so it would be great to hear something like "You have reached your destination at 77 Glastonbury Road".
  • Please add the ability to tap a location on the map and have the option to "drive to" that know, like Google map.
  • Thanks for your feedback we will look into it. In the meantime there is a workaround: open HERE Maps, select the destination with long tap on the map, calculate the route by car, select "start navigation" to launch HERE Drive.
  • when do you plan to fix the fact that the only voice guidance that works is the one that is the same as system language? i have l920 on english uk and i cannot use Greek voice guidance. only the english uk one
  • Please open HERE Drive(+) then enter the menu > settings > navigation voice > download new > ελληνικά (is almost at the end of the list) or any other language, we support over 70 voices.
  • thats whats i try to explain you. i have downloaded greek voice language. i also downloaded deutsch one to test if the problem was on greek language pack. The only downloaded language that works is the english uk with street names. if i change system language to Greek, then the Greek voice guidance works fine. It seems that voice guidance language has to be the same with system language in order to work.
  • Oh, that's an odd behavior then... It works for me: my smartphone is in US English but I use navigation also in German and Italian.
    I guess you are not only downloading the voice but also activating it in HERE Drive settings > navigation voice, right? It must be selected.
    Otherwise I really don't know what's going on.
  • yes i activated it.. there is probably a bug in application.. i re-install here drive many times but nothing changed..
  • Thanks for your info Pino. Can you tell us when can we use our "collection" that we create in Here websites? I'd like to create custom routes for my trip. Bte since the purpose of here maps is to get as many users as possible from any platform, why not make "report new Road" feature like in Waze. This way, every single user get to participate in the map update.
  • Currently collections aren't available in HERE for Windows Phone 8, but soon you will see more alignment between the way you collect places on and on your smartphone.
    Also thanks for the feedback about "report new road", we are actually looking into a larger community based approach.
  • Does anyone know what Nokia are waiting for before they remove the "Beta" tag?
  • We're finalizing some tests and then the beta rag should disappear.
  • Are there any plans to merge Here Maps and Here Drive?
    And is it possible to make Here Maps the 'default' maps app? For instance, if I search for a local business and click on its address, it takes me to Bing Maps. I'd like to be taken to Here Maps directly. I know I can scroll right to the 'apps' tab and select Here Maps, but that's extra steps. Another example is if I go to my contacts list and select a contact (whose address I have stored), and then click on the address, I am taken to Bing Maps. The only way to look that address up in Here Maps or navigate to that address using Here Drive is by copy-pasting that address in those respective apps. Quite annoying tbh. Or is it not possible to make Here Maps the 'default' maps app due to WP8 limitations?
    Edit: This is Lumia 920 I'm talking about.
  • aaa6112
    And is it possible to make Here Maps the 'default' maps app? For instance, if I search for a local business and click on its address, it takes me to Bing Maps.
    It doesn't take you to Bing Maps, that's still Nokia Maps, just with Microsoft's native interface. Nokia Maps is built into WP8. The Nokia Maps app (or HERE Maps as it's called now) is just an alternative UI to access the already built-in maps. Personally I do not like Nokia's interface at all, and I could write at length about why. I'm very pleased that there's an app on the Store called "Maps" which gives Nokia users the ability to launch the built-it maps interface directly. No waiting. I say it gives Nokia users the ability, because other WPs come with the real maps app already available. Nokia take it off.
  • ListenUpGuys: "It doesn't take you to Bing Maps, that's still Nokia Maps, just with Microsoft's native interface"
    I dont believe they are the same maps. My proof: If I search for 'San Diego International Airport' using the WP8 search, it shows up the airport, but it is pinned at an incorrect location in the maps (address is correct, however). Screenshot:
    However, if I search using Here Maps, it shows up pinned at the exact correct location. Screenshot:
    Furthermore, if you type in IE10 (set to open pages in mobile format), it will redirect you to the app-like-version of Bing Maps. IMO, it wouldn't redirect you to the Here Maps app, because that's not what I 'wanted' to use.
    PS: I've already reported the incorrect pinning of San Diego International Airport to Bing via their feedback option on the desktop version of their website.  
  • Never mind. :) haikus' comment below did confirm what you said. So, they are the same maps but just different interface. I wonder if I should also notify Nokia/Here Maps about the incorrect pinning of the airport when I search via WP8 search (I already notified Bing).
  • We're cool if you are not that into HERE Maps, but may we know why? It would help us improve the experience.
    Anyway, we believe that HERE Maps is a strong and compelling product with syncronized favorites with here.come and all the other HERE experiences. You get turn-by-turn walk navigation, transit info with the option to get more with HERE Transit, venue maps in 29,000 buildings in 45 countries and soon also augmented reality with LiveSight.
  • You gotta reduce the number of clicks to get from Here Maps search to Here Maps nav.
    - Open Here Maps
    - Search for something
    - Click on it on map (right here should be an option to navigate)
    - On "about" screen, click "get directions"
    - Scroll down to "Directions", click on "start navigation"
    - When Drive opens, click "Start"
  • This is the exact reason I was asking if Here Maps and Here Drive will be merged at some point.
  • We see it differently. If you already know you're going to get there by car, why don't you directly open HERE Drive and search for your destination there?
    Also, you can save places you visit often as favorites and you can also pin them to start for one-tap access. Windows Phone 8 is such a great OS for this, make the most out of it.
  • If you search in Maps, it plots the results on a map and gives a list of the addresses.  If you search in Drive, you only get a listing of addresses. 
  • We have seen during user tests that this is what most poeple want. However, if a map overview is very important to you when searching for some places, you can always tap on the little squared map next to each search result. From there you can see, on a map, where all those search results are.
  • Wow, this is great! I am learning a lot of hidden features of Drive. Never knew that clicking on that little squared map next to each search result would open a map where 'all those search results' would be pinned. There should be a tips/turorial section where all these helpful features are described. Would be a time saver.
  • I didn't know about that square.  I just looked at it and the way you scroll sideways to show the different results is very nice.  I'll start going into Drive directly instead of entering via Maps.  Thank you for taking the time to come to this site and corresponding with the end users.
  • aah, never realized I could search for 'places' in Drive. Always thought I would need to have an actual address to search via Drive. Thanks for that protip :) Now I can skip searching for places in Maps and then going to Drive to navigate!
  • Not exactly, but a bug free experience is likely it. I used it for an hour long trip yesterday and it simply stopped navigating several times. I had to use Nokia maps to get the gps to lock again, then go back into drive and re-input my route... That happened several times
  • You need the background option enabled to prevent it from stopping.
  • Thanks... I do have that enabled though. Nav stays on the screen, my position just stops updating.
  • A bit if clarification.
    Windows Phone maps, just like Bing, Yahoo!, Amazon and others use maps provided by HERE. They can personalize UI elements and some other behaviors like search and POI database. We are also working with the Windows Phone team to allow e.g. the People Hub to open HERE Maps. HERE Maps and HERE Drive are two separate experiences designed to address specific use cases. If you're commuting by car, for instance, you want to start navigation with a tap, you don't want to go through a jungle of menus and options.
    However, they work together so you can plan a route in HERE Maps and start HERE Drive from there, etc,
  • Love how the plan route sounds.
    Does that mean that we can click and drag roads if I happen to know a better way?
  • I have had the same problem it is very frustrating...
  • As long as it cannot give directions through the hands free bluetooth system in my car, it is not a turn by turn solution for anything. It remains a bad joke on my 822. Locally stored maps and a pretty screen mean nothng if I have to either disconnect from the bluetooth system or pick up the phone and look at a screen while driving. I still consider this to be a poor excuse for alpha software.....
  • It works through my auto Bluetooth. Maybe its your car's bt you should be ragging on, Dude.
  • Stephen, something is wrong with your setup. It works just fine. Don't blame Nokia on that one.
  • +3 mine works perfectly fine too both with ativ and Lumia, check your Bluetooth receiver
  • Yeah mine works too, like the others said, it might be your BT receiver.
  • I have the 920 connected to the car audio through bluetooth. I can stream music, have turn by turn and pick up Phone call with no problem. One minor issue is when the turn by turn speak, the music is off. I'd like to have the music plat continuously with but with small volume
  • All I know is that Nokia Here/Drive works again. For the past 2 weeks, I wasn't able to pass the Here start up screen on my Nokia 810. It closed and kicked me back to the home screen. I'm one happy camper after this update!
  • Did you try to uninstall and reinstall the app? Sometimes that can help... =/
  • Yes, uninstalled, shutdown, and installed numerous times. This update fix it.
  • Have they added the ability to see the Route list yet? So you can quickly see which way its looking to take you.
  • No
  • Although this feature isn't available on HERE Drive, you can always get a route overview on the map, before start driving. Additionally, you can plan your route first with HERE Maps, get the directions list and then start HERE Drive.
  • thats not a complete solution. If you start driving towards your destination, but take a detour on the way, there's no way to see the new route list. I really hope future update will have this feature. It is really helpful. Thanks!
  • I get so happy with updates on WP and its sad. On my iPad I get updates all the time and think nothing of it XD.
  • Isn't all the updates you get from Nokia mysterious, for the most part.
  • What I would like is a change to the Bluetooh Implemntation.  Right now the BT stack it uses is the same as music streaming, which means
    A-Your car has to support music audio (as opposed to phone)
    B-Music does not pause when directions are spoken.
    C-Car must have bluetooth selected for audio input to hear anything.
    I hope this changes and uses the phone stack.  This would allow me to listen to the radio and then have the phone tell me directions when necessary.  Just like how text messages work on Windows Phone via bluetooth.
  • this this this this this! I always have my phone connected to my car's bluetooth and it's mostly a hands-free, no-fuss set up for calls, texts, voice commands... but then when it comes to navigating... it's completely different and I can't listen to the radio at the same time if I wanted to. I've resorted to disconnecting bluetooth when I want navigation and using the phone's speaker...
  • still listen to radio? Lol, jk...what station..? =P
  • Hopefully, they fixed the ridiculously bad POI seach algorithm.
  • This and add to their seriously lacking or inaccurate POI database. Their search results algorithm is horrible and their POI database matches. Horrible.
    This should be priority #1 for ther HERE team.
  • Sometimes it would hang out in one spot when I was clearly moving...I would have to restart my phone and try again. I hope it fixed THAT! =/
  • I'm looking for a route list and also ability to search for POI along my current route and set as a waypoint.
  • Was hoping we were getting my commute or traffic information.. Oh well.
  • When are they going to add traffic rerouting?
  • I must be honest and admit HTC 8X is the coolest phone around. Yes, it beat Lumia design-wise, but Nokia's GPS/Maps make my life much easier. I feel completely comfortable to go wherever, and that's why I upgraded from Lumia 800 to Lumia 820.
  • Radiolocation accuracy and compass fixes
  • Hi everyone, Pino again from the HERE team at Nokia.
    One more thing: we're very please that you are all so passionate about HERE Drive and you have so many suggestions. Of course we are listening and we are considering your feedback for next releases. We are always working on all HERE experiences and soon you will be enjoying more features. Right now we are very busy at removing that beta lable asap.
  • Wish they would add "No longer a beta" to the change log.
    Update: just saw post above by Nokia - sorry. Love the app!
  • q
  • Well I updated my App, and guess what? All of my remaining free space, over 5Gb worth, GONE! deleted the App, and its still full. Ran the memory shrink program that worked in the past, and got a couple of hundred Mb back. I already had disabled the automatic uploading. Cleaned out every cache and deleted some more apps to get to a barely functional half a Gb.
    MS had better solve this memory bug asap!
  • Has anyone else had this memory-eating problem with the HERE updates? I haven't updated yet, and I can't afford to use an additional 5GB on my 8x. That would wipe me out. I wonder if uninstalling first and then downloading fresh would avoid the problem.
  • I only have 5GB left and I just updated 2 seconds ago to see what would happen. After installing the update, I still have 5GB free, so no problem.
  • Please make HERE Drve + available to non Nokia Phones. I had to get an HTC 8X because Verizon doesn't offer the 920. I need a global navigation base to drive around the many foreign countries I visit.
  • My here drive would not update so i uninstalled it and now i cannot find it in the store to reinstall on my lumia 920
  • Here's is what i will tell you this works off-line at 35.000 feet i was flying from Rio to IAH Taxas and i was able to track my location and speed of the flight during the flight. The phone was in airplane mode with no inflight wifi and this thing really works try it out the next time you guys fly i'm using a lumia 810.
  • I was flying  from Rio to Iah this week and i was able to use my Here drive Beta  to track my location and speed during the flight in airplane mode with no wifi at 35.000 feet.