Nokia has today announced that HERE Drive+, which has been in a beta for what seems like forever, will be made available for all Windows Phone 8 smartphones. For the time being, only HERE Drive is available for non-Nokia Windows Phone hardware. This is welcomed news for everyone who owns a Windows Phone not manufactured by the Finnish company.
This will mean that Nokia's HERE package is now available on all Windows Phones, offering a unique and feature rich experience to consumers, no matter which OEM you choose. While a few have already been available for some time, this is a major shift.
As well as today's announcement, the team has also revealed that the step to broaden availability of the navigation solution correlates with a new release of HERE Drive and HERE Transit. Both updates will be published in the coming days. The Drive (+ included) update will include My Commute to help with the everyday commute by learning driving habits and providing predictable and personalised recommendations based on traffic conditions.
HERE Drive will sport the option for the owner to upgrade the navigation license from local to global from within the app (see below for pricing).
As for HERE Transit, we'll be able to enjoy a new panorama view, which is billed to make it easier for users to plan routes and access previous destinations and favourites, as well as nearby stations. HERE Transit will also be made available for non-Nokia hardware in selected markets.
Here's a handy chart to really explain everything:
Good news for everyone. We'll let you all know when the new releases for HERE Transit and Drive are available. Find the press release below. Thanks, Rockartisten, for the tip!
Nokia releasing HERE for all Windows Phone 8 hardware
Espoo, Finland - HERE, a Nokia business, today announced the upcoming global release of HERE Drive+ for all Windows Phone 8 smartphones. This move will extend the benefits of HERE Drive+ beyond Nokia Lumia devices to help more people navigate their lives with ease and confidence. HERE Drive+ provides access to global world-class voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation with true offline maps, enabling people to reach their destination safely even without a data connection.
"With the global release of HERE Drive+ for all Windows Phone 8 devices we will further extend our HERE business and deliver on our promise of making HERE experiences available for as many people as possible. The more people are using our location offering the better it will get for everyone," said Thom Brenner, vice president, Windows Phone applications, HERE. "At the same time this release also demonstrates our commitment to further strengthen the Windows Phone ecosystem with our maps assets."
"HERE is the global leader in maps, navigation and location services. Its maps are used in huge numbers of the dedicated GPS satellite navigation devices and imbedded in-car navigation solutions from leading manufacturers around the world," said Tim Shepherd, Senior Analyst from Canalys. "In delivering world-class navigation capabilities with HERE Drive+ to Windows Phone 8, accessible offline with global coverage available, HERE brings a highly valuable and differentiated experience to the platform and the products it serves."
Updates to HERE Drive(+) and HERE Transit
The step to broaden the availability of its navigation app correlates with new releases of HERE Drive(+) and HERE Transit, both available for download from the Windows Phone Store within the coming days. The HERE Drive(+) update introduces additional enhancements to the experience, including My Commute, an innovative feature helping to improve the everyday commute. My Commute learns daily driving habits and provides predictable and personalized commute recommendations based on current traffic conditions. HERE Drive now also comes with the option to upgrade the navigation license from local to global coverage from within the app.
The latest update to HERE Transit further simplifies public transportation, taking advantage of the Windows Phone interface with a streamlined experience and a new panorama view. This new design is making it easier for people to plan routes and access previous destinations and favorites as well as nearby transit stations. HERE Transit will also be available for non-Nokia Windows Phone 8 smartphones in selected markets.
For more information on the updates, please visit our blog.
Pricing and Availability
- HERE Drive (with local navigation license) for Nokia Lumia: Available globally at no charge in the Windows Phone Store for the Nokia Lumia 720, 520 and 521 with in-app upgrade for a global navigation license for EUR 15.49*.
- HERE Drive for other Windows Phone 8 smartphones: Available at no charge in the Windows Phone Store in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US with in-app upgrade for a global navigation license for EUR 15.49*.
- HERE Drive+ (with global navigation license) for Nokia Lumia: Available globally at no charge in the Windows Phone Store for the Nokia Lumia 928, 925, 920, 822, 820, 810 and 620.
- HERE Drive+ for other Windows Phone 8 smartphones: Available globally in the Windows Phone Store for EUR 34.99*.
- HERE Transit for Nokia Lumia: Available globally at no charge in the Windows Phone Store for all Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphones.
- HERE Transit for other Windows Phone 8 smartphones: Available in the Windows Phone Store at no charge in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US. Available in the Windows Phone Store in Australia, China, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia and UAE for EUR 1.99*.
*For pricing in your local currency, please check the local Windows Phone Store in your market.
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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.