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We put HERE Maps to the test, Google’s new rival for Android

Installation and commissioning

As you already know, the installation of the application performs like any other APK. After running it for the first time, HERE Maps will offer us different tips to improve our experience, such as the possibility to download new voices. By default we will have the female English voice installed, although of course, we can install any Spanish voice, both female and male, and many other languages. In addition, we can download the voices in high Fidelity to enjoy much more natural voices, although yes, we will need a little more free space. After this, the second tip that will appear will be download some of the maps to be able to use the application without having to be connected to the internet, one of the great advantages over Google Maps and Navigation, whose “offline” system is somewhat less intuitive, having to download various map areas to be able to use them offline.

Here Maps (1)

Here Maps (3)

In my case, I downloaded our entire country, which occupies just over 600 MB, although it is possible to download the whole world. Of course, we will need practically 10 GB of free space, something that as you can see in my case, is practically impossible.

How does it work? What characteristics does it have?

HERE Maps can act as a Maps-style map or as a very complete GPS navigator –As we have said, also offline-, I would even dare to say that much more than Google Navigation, although yes, being in beta version still has some problems and details that we will see later when we arrive at our destination. The application offers us different map styles: classic, traffic, public transport and satellite. Where I currently live, in Granada, it seems that Nokia (or rather Microsoft) has not yet updated some of the streets and, above all, public transport, while if we take a look at cities like Madrid, we will be able to move around the city without No problem guiding us with the Metro stops in the city, for example.

Here Maps (7)Here Maps (9)

Here Maps (8)Here Maps (10)

As with Maps, we will have the possibility of reach our destination by car, by public transport or on foot. And yes we can add favorites, either from the phone or from the web version for PC, where we are also able to create routes, check the flow of traffic thanks to Traffic.com and even see images at street level (In this case Google has a great advantage with Street View since Microsoft only offers images in major cities such as Madrid or Barcelona).

Here Maps 7

Letting HERE Maps guide us

Let’s start with a real test drive, although yes, connected to the data network since it wanted to know the traffic data. My goal is to reach a specific place in Atarfe, one of the municipalities of La Vega de Granada and for this, I activate the Drive mode from HERE Maps. The instructions are quite clear and different information appears on the screen: the street where we are, the time at which we will arrive at the destination, the instantaneous speed and the delay in minutes that we may suffer due to the different traffic holds. In this last aspect, the application behaves perfectly: while I was driving on the road I came across a small traffic jam at the entrance of the highway that was quickly solved.

Here Maps (5)

Regarding the directions, I had no problems getting to the destination, although I have to say that on one occasion leaving Granada, HERE Maps tried to guide me down a road that has been closed to traffic for several years, something really strange. By the way, if you are always concerned about your safety and the speed you reach with your car, the application will notify you when you exceed the speed limit, although I must also emphasize that on some occasions it is not updated, and in sections with a maximum speed of 100 km / h, HERE Maps alerted me when it exceeded 80 km / h.

Here Maps (6)

However, saving these inconveniences that I have just explained, everything else went smoothly and I reached my destination without problem (curiously losing GPS connectivity as soon as I reached it).

Conclusions

Although there are still enough aspects for HERE Maps to become one of the great location and navigation services -Remember that it is still in beta version-, the truth is that from my point of view it is really interesting and complete. The navigation is correct, it is possible to use the GPS offline and, although some indications may be wrong, we hope that over time this will be corrected.

If you are interested in installing an alternative to Google Maps and Navigation on your Android phone, don’t hesitate and get HERE Maps, you won’t regret it.