here maps

Nokia has rolled out an update for offline mapping on Windows Phone. There are two types of updates for the mapping solution on Windows Phone, the HERE Maps app itself and offline data installed on a smartphone. Today, we're once again looking at the latter, with reports coming in that an update for offline map data is available for some users (it may depend on your region).

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Location Finder is a handy Windows Phone 8 app that will find, save and share your current location. With Location Finder you can record locations such as a campsite, where you parked your car, the location of a business you need to remember or simply sharing your location with friends/family so they can find you.

Location Finder was updated to version 2.6 last night that includes a handful of changes that are user driven. For example, many users asked for shorter URLs to make sharing your location easier. You can opt for the shorter URLs in the app’s settings.

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HERE Maps is the solid mapping experience from Nokia, which was only available on the Lumia 2520 when it came to Windows Phone 8.1 tablets and PCs. We recently covered plans for the app to be pushed out to all hardware, ending the Lumia 2520 exclusivity. Nokia has today made the popular solution available for all consumers to download, no matter which Windows device you're using. 

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Back a few months ago, Nokia entered the hyper competitive tablet market with the Lumia 2520 (review), a Windows RT device that has received a lot of high praise, even if limited availability. That device also had some exclusive software on board, including a full HERE Maps suite.

Today, Nokia has announced that a new and improved version of HERE Maps is coming to all Windows 8.1 devices over the coming days. HERE Maps have always been really fun to use, but with the syncing ability between Lumias phones and HERE Maps on a PC, it should take it to the next level.

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Late last week, we broke the news about offline mapping data being updated by Nokia’s HERE team. In case you missed it, you’ll want to download the latest version of your mapping data (not the app itself) for lots of small changes and refinements. Some of those changes include house numbers for seven European countries, extended woodland coverage and Hindi support.

When we spoke with HERE team member Pino Bonetti about what the update entailed, he promised one more ‘surprise’ coming on Monday. Well, looking at our calendar, that day is today, and as it turns out, the Sochi Olympics are on Nokia’s radar.

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If you use Windows Phone 8, there’s a really good chance you use Maps (or HERE Maps, if on a Lumia). Hopefully you have also taken advantage of the offline map ability, which allows you to download regional or state maps to your phone for faster access – and no data charges.

We had a tip from Antonio that his offline map data had an update, so we did a roll call on our team to check ourselves. From Alabama, to the UK, to New York, to the UAE, India, Spain and even Florida, we all had offline map data awaiting to be downloaded. (To clarify, this is not the app that has been updated, just map data).

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The 2014 Honda Civic that goes on sale December 4th introduces an advanced connected-car technology with a 7-inch multi-touch display in the dashboard. The app-based system, named HondaLink, includes a comprehensive cloud-based navigation app for purchase. It is the first app developed by an automaker with mapping data provided by Nokia’s HERE Maps. You can plan your routes on your smartphone and then transfer all the information to the Honda Civic.

The bad news? At launch timing, Apple’s iPhone 5, 5S and 5C benefit from all the features HondaLink offers. Android compatibility is expected next year. No mention of Windows Phone support.

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Like other Nokia software releases, this morning also saw the arrival of their HERE Maps application for Windows 8. The Windows Store app, meant for their RT-based Lumia 2520, is their first mapping app for the desktop/tablet.

That’s the good news, but the bad news that it is only for their Lumia tablets.  That means that once again, users can see the listing in the Store but if they try to click the Store link, they will be met with an error that this app is not mean for their device. It also means that the Lumia 2520 is getting close to release.

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WPCentral gets an exclusive look at some new HERE tech with Nokia

Nokia today invited Windows Phone Central along to their UK offices in London to talk about HERE location services and to show off the new technology in the new fleet of vehicles. These mobile machines are tasked with keeping the data collected fresh and relevant, as well as adding yet more detail to services and apps that utilise HERE data.

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Every week we strive to bring you the latest when it comes to new apps and app updates in the Windows Phone Store. But no matter how hard you try, you might miss out on some cool apps. A lot can happen in a week, so we’re going to start taking Saturdays to sit back, relax, and go over some of the highlights when it comes to the weekly changes in the Windows Phone Store.

We’re going to highlight noteworthy apps that are either new or received a new update during the week. We’ll work on tweaking this column based on your feedback. Either way, let’s look at this past week in apps.

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Nokia launches HERE Explore to help you find new places

Nokia has always been strong in mobile mapping. The HERE mapping platform powers not only Windows Phone 8 apps, but helps provide navigation services and location solutions for companies like Garmin, BMW, Oracle and Amazon. It’s a very valuable business unit for Nokia, which is why it’s not going to Microsoft. That said, it’s great to see the HERE team continuing to pump out solid progress on Windows Phone with cool new apps like HERE Explore. Let’s check it out.

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