Nokia took advantage of the torrent of negative feedback over Apple‘s new Maps app, plugging its own mobile-mapping software in its Lumia phones.
In a blog post, Nokia talks about the challenge of creating a full-featured mapping and navigation application for mobile devices. One passage in particular seems aimed at Apple Maps, which have been praised for its beautiful 3D renderings but assailed for its inaccuracy and lack of features:
“…we also understand that ‘pretty’ isn’t enough. You expect excellence in your smartphone mapping experience.”
Citing its many years building and enhancing Nokia Maps (formerly Ovi Maps), Nokia claims its maps experience on mobile is superior due to its approach of owning, building and distributing the content and apps. Ironically, that sort of end-to-end approach is often what Apple holds over other companies, but in this case it’s Apple who acquired its technology (from acquired companies C3, Poly9 and Placebase) and data (from OpenStreetMap and others) for the Maps app in iOS 6.
With Windows Phone 8, Nokia Maps will be the default maps app for Microsoft’s mobile platform. The upcoming Lumia 920 will add augmented-reality functionality into the app, called City Lens, showing users data about businesses in view of the phone’s camera when you hold up the phone.
Apple, however, has defended its new Maps app as a work in progress. And despite its flaws, the app does include turn-by-turn navigation — something that hasn’t existed (at least not for free) on the iPhone until now. Users are also praising the app’s gorgeous 3D renderings, which Apple calls Flyover, though those are only available in some cities for now.
Nonetheless, Nokia’s point that the only comparison that matters is what “you can actually do with your smartphone” resonates. Comparing its maps with those of Apple and Google, it cites public-transit data, the ability to use maps offline (also part of its upcoming package with Windows Phone 8), and availability of turn-by-turn navigation in more countries as its main advantages over the other two platforms.
What do you think of Nokia’s criticism of Apple Maps?