According to two LinkedIn job listings unearthed by NokiaPowerUser, Nokia might be looking into expanding its HERE and location services to Android and iOS by bringing in new mobile developers and software engineers experienced in both platforms.
The first listing is for an experienced software engineer with one or more Android or iOS apps under their belt, and who should join a team responsible for developing Mobile SDKs for Business and the HERE Platform for Business. The second opening is a straightforward mobile developer listing in the HERE Core Platform Group, and has the person responsible for all the stages of building a mobile app for Android.
This isn’t the first time Nokia has ventured outside of its Symbian / Windows Phone comfort zones, with company having already published (and removed) a HERE Maps app for iOS, and all of its HERE services on Android as part of the Nokia X family of devices. However, now that Nokia is free of its Microsoft ties — the HERE branch is still part of Nokia and hasn’t been acquired by Microsoft — it has a lot more liberty in targeting those platforms widely and correctly.
As a matter of fact, the company’s first Press Release after the completed acquisition explained its three key targets as it moves forward, among which:
Through its HERE business, Nokia will invest to further develop its location cloud to make it the leading source of location intelligence and experiences across many different operating systems, platforms and screens. […] “Our view is that only one other company has location services that come close to the depth and breadth of those from HERE – and HERE has the advantage of being independent from any operating system or single business model,” said Rajeev Suri.
That is music to my ears. I was an avid Symbian and Nokia user for several years and Nokia’s location services are the ones that I miss the most after moving to Android. Google Maps has a wider POI database, but Nokia’s maps data remains unequalled in my country, Lebanon. Where Google only has main roads and a few secondary ones outside of the capital, Nokia has every nook and cranny mapped thanks to its NAVTEQ acquisition. For this reason alone, I still find myself sometimes opening HERE.com on my G2’s browser to get proper navigation data.
That is of course not to mention the option to cache entire countries or states for offline use on HERE, as opposed to Google’s option to only cache what’s on the screen. Even if you are an avid Google Maps user, the arrival of HERE to Android should be exciting news as well, if only for the choice it brings, and the freedom of working offline in case you are traveling or in an area with spotty reception.