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Nokia Amber allows HERE Maps to update individual streets

File this under 'mildly interesting'. Recently, Nokia pushed out updates for their HERE Maps offline data. Initially thought to be a US only update it became obvious through comments that the update was in fact, global. We pointed out that in our case, three states added up to a 53 MB update, which was much smaller than the initial maps download.

As it turns out, we weren’t imagining things. Nokia’s Pino Bonetti let us know that since the Amber update, the HERE Maps team can in fact update just individual streets instead of having to re-download the entire map for the state or region.

Although it may seem like a minor change, for those without access to Wi-Fi or who are on metered-connections it makes a big difference. Let’s be honest, having to re-download entire maps for what could be some minor adjustments wastes everyone’s bandwidth (and time), so it’s great to Nokia be able to deliver specific and isolated map updates direct to HERE users. After all, it’s the little things that go a long way.

Source: @haikus

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • Well done Nokia.
  • I am so very impressed with Nokia's innovative thinking and am glad to be a part of it.
    That said, good job Nokia!
  • Your absolutely right, they are innovative except for the fact that most of us with 920 and 820 in America are still sitting here looking at all these great Amber Apps when we can't utilize them.  I find my self checking other website for when the Amber is going to come instead of this site.  Get your "S" together AT$T!  Don't any one dare tell me it is coming soon. In all honestly I do love seeing the post where people have spoken to the monkeys over at AT$T and seeing how incompetent they are.  Amazes me that they are one of the leading companies in America.  But i guess thats America for you.  
  • Yes, well done Nokia.. Now, where's Microsoft❔
  • Where's Microsoft what?
  • Nokias always making moves, and where's MS❔... I, personally, would like to see more action, more often, from MS..
  • Didn't MS just update their Translator app today?
  • That's Bing, and that's a good point.. Rather the WP team be more present than MS.. That's what I should be asking for..
  • Rescuing Nokia from insolvency?
  • That is true❕ And, that's a good answer to my question..
  • agreed, efficient
  • lol 'mildly interesting' - That's an epic FB page btw.
  • That's awesome, go Nokia.
  • Does this update require Amber, or just the Here Maps app that was updated after Amber came out?
  • Just HERE Maps from what I can gather, I had about 98Mb of updates for the Maps of the UK and Poland on my ATIV S.
  • 157 MB for the Florida map without GDR2. AT&T really needs to step things up, this is getting rediculous. I'm thinking about selling my L920 and going to Apple and T-Mobile.
  • Hi everyone, this is Pino form the HERE team.
    You really need Amber (on Nokia Lumia) or GDR2 (for all the other Windows Phone 8 smartphones) to enjoy this new way of updating offline maps.
    Roughly, the update will be around 10-15% of the map data you have stored in your smartphone. So for every Gb of map data you have, you can expect an update of 150Mb.
  • Pino - when is the data driving these maps finally going to be comparable to Bing or Google Maps? We had two Lumia 920s, several Android phones, and several iPhones on a recent 200 mile relay race. The driver was using his Lumia 920 with HERE Maps to navigate but we kept getting lost. It was only when we used Google Maps (via Android or iPhone) or Bing Maps (through the "Map" app shortcut on my Lumia 920) that we were able to find the correct address and directions.  The relay race was the Ragnar - Napa (Downtown San Francisco to Napa, CA).
    HERE Maps worked around 70% of the time but 70% DOES NOT CUT IT this day in age. What is the holdup? What am I missing? And I don't want the excuse to be that Nokia/HERE is great in other parts of the world. I was in Mexico and we were having to use my wife's iPhone to get the correct addresses via Google Maps. Unacceptable. This has been going on way too long.
    Please let us know what is going on - it feels to me that Nokia is taking way too long to catch up to the competition. Nokia should at the very minimum be on par with Bing Maps... edited for grammar
  • thats nice!
    Updating AMBER  FINALLY , in my Nokia Lumia 920 
    Movistar Chile :D 
  • At&t?
  • Att is due in the "coming weeks"
  • -_-
  • That was what they August.
  • Same for 920 from France which is carrier free. Actually its even worse than ATT.
  • I noticed on my 1020 that the Ohio update was only 18MB. Nice touch! My only gripe is I'd love a way to know what was updated.
  • That would be heck of an overkill. Nokia telling you exact street names,etc that go updated. That's asking too much. 
    They can say City names though, but anything more granular than that is too much to ask for. 
  • That's actually a good idea and we would love to provide such information. The biggest challenge is to select the highlights of the update. For example, the street you live in might not be the most important in your area but it's definitively very important to you ;-)
  • Haikus? Are you Nokian? 
    In any case, generally one would not be interested in knowing the changes on the street where one lives. 
    Why? because he/she passes through that street often to realize what are the changes on that street. 
    What is more important is which unknown or less commonly vistied areas have improved. 
  • Hi hary536, I'm Pino fromt he HERE team, I'm sure you remember me from other forums ;-)
    You have a good observation, but I slightly disagree.
    The first thing you check on a map, to see whether it's accurate is whether the area where you live (or work) is up-to-date.
    Anyway, there you go: two persons, two opinions about what's should be included ;-)
  • My att nl920 has no update available yet
  • wonder my maps update size was so large...on ATT still waiting for Amber update.
  • It's imagining, not "imaging".
  • Nokia truly is setting the bar and getting better and better with each update. I truly hope they begin to distinguish themselves with more features down the road.
  • Too bad us ATT customers can't make use of any of those new and awesome features (forever crying inside while proshot taunts my 920).
  • Thats the problem. 'Down the road' they are being sold to MS.
  • To make matters even more complicated  the mobiles will be sold, Here Maps stays with Nokia.
    Let's see how the Lumia "exclusivity" with Nokia and Here-maps continues, when Lumias are made by Microsoft.
  • That deal between the two needs to fail.
  • +920
  • Hi this is Pino from the HERE team. Although our business is staying with Nokia, Microsoft will continue licesing our location platform not only for Bing Maps but also for Windows Phone. This should make you happy in the future too ;-)
  • I saw 'Amber' and 'HERE' and got excited because I thought it was a article saying att 920 amber update was here :'(
  • Lol
  • Partial or not, downloading the updates still requires WiFi. I have four offline maps, and all four got updated. The total was a meager 47 Mb, but the phone refused to download them until I had WiFi connectivity.
  • That's correct, updating maps still requires Wi-Fi. In a future when these updates can be sent incrementally to everyone and also more frequently (reducing the data to be downloaded to a minimum) we might consider allowing download over cellular network too.
  • At&t needs to have their payments suspended until they release Amber.
  • I expect as we get close enough to whatever  "coming weeks" mean, AT&T will announce with GDR3 so close to release, they will postpone GDR2...indefinately.
  • Nope. We got GDR1 and that is all we will get unless we flash it ourselves or upgrade to a new phone. AT&T never updates a model more than once. Look how many updates they sent the Lumia 900. As soon as my contract ETF gets below 200 I am done with AT&T and Windows phone. Until they can push updates like Apple I will never trust them again. What happened to the update plan that did not require carrier approval ? A freaking lie told by Microsoft to sell the folks they abandoned on WP7. 
  • Now if they can make Drive app announce upcoming turns a little earlier that would be awesome. Sometimes I'm right at the street I'm suppose to turn and it tells me at the last moment. Also, list all roads you'll take for the trip.
  • Maybe you're driving too fast.
  • It always says, left\right turn 500 m ahead!!
  • 500 mile notice? Wow.
  • lol, tell me you really can't distinguish between "m" and "mi"...
  • LOL - please tell me you can understand sarcasm.
  • On writing, we probably can't
  • sure!
  • Its harder for people to understand. I'm not saying its impossible, but certain people don't get it. People arn't as smart as you...
  • LOL, I can tell you, I understand sarcasm, and you was definitely not being sarcastic -- nice try mate!
  • Meters. As in the measurement.
  • Hey it doesn't even announce turns using the Female German voice :/
  • AT&T needs to step their game. All the other phone companies seem up to speed... why not AT&T?
  • Because it's AT&T, they are exempt from being up to speed ;P
  • Great!
  • Not Amber, but GDR 2. Had the same thing with HTC 8X.
  • That's correct. You need Amber on Nokia Lumia or GDR2 on other Windows Phone 8 smartphones.
  • AT&T sleeping on Amber Updates while we are paying them. Definitely selling my unlocked NL920, smh.
  • Selling unlocked 920 why not switch carriers,put your money where your mouth is.
  • Even if you switch Carriers the RM and build is still At&t. So he is better off selling the 920 and getting the 1020.
  • Yet I didn't get amber update of my Lumia 620,India
  • Me too,haven't received the update yet for 620 :-(
  • am I the only one without amber... sadd faceee
  • Don't worry! You'll get it soon...when we get the Bittersweet shimmer! :-p
  • Didn't we know this already? I think WP Central reported this before.
  • This is a well known fact, at least I remember reading this in one of Nokia's Blog immediately after they announced the Amber Update. Indeed, this feature saves a lot of your data.
  • Hey AT&T, just because you planned for this gubnet shutdown, doesn't mean your update team gets anytime off... Get back to work already....
  • Does anyone have the rom flashing instructions in English for the Lumia 920
  • Quite smart. Good job, Nokia!
  • HERE will beginning the delivery of weekly updates to those customers that want them. I bet this is the reason.
  • I'm guessing this allows them to update POIs on an individual basis as well, which maybe a bigger deal.
  • and all other map apps are not working in my lumia620 after amber update...
  • Mmm, that's odd. Try to reinstall HERE Maps, HERE Drive+ and HERE Transit. They should work well (actually even better) with the Amber update.
  • I like it!
    Just updating streets and such is a big improvement!
  • How does this have anything to do with Amber? My att 920 (so lol never getting updated) had the small app updates too.
  • too bad here maps sucks with my country
  • Hi, this is Pino from the HERE team. In which country do you live? And how exactly do you want us to improve?
  • Hi. I'm from Trinidad and Tobago. The capital of my country "Port-Of-Spain" is fine, but alot of other places there is nothing on the map. I mean literally nothing.
    I am from Chagaunas which is a major city here and there is nothing there. No streets, nothing. It's just a white empty space on the map. And this is just one of many examples.
    Works alot better on google maps :/
  • Dear Haikus, in Argentina (Capital Federal) recently the goverment changed ways a lot of streets, i almost crash two times...
    Do you have any change log (individually for each country/region) so i can check if the street is right or wrong BEFORE i DRIVE IN? or any way to inform INSTANTLY A BAD STREET, OR LOCATION?
  • Oh good to know Jonathan, I'm going to visit Argentina in November and I have to be careful then ;-)
    Anyway, we don't publish detailed information about what's changed also because we don't want to do the job for our competitors...
    I can however let the team know to double check whether we already include the latest changes.
  • edit. whoops.
  • Lol I mean, this is kinda old news, but nonetheless still mildly interesting
  • They updated Ohio and PA(the only two I have installed) but appear to have missed updating at least one of the interstate sections here in Ohio that is now 70MPH instead of 65.
  • Sweet!!
  • Btw, it was already known and announced with Amber.