Nokia’s Here map is becoming a solid contender on Android, and the latest update adds some smart features to ease the pain of navigation.
Here for Android is losing the beta tag and now displays 3D maps for shopping centers and airports in 70 different countries. Just like with Google Maps, you can touch on the different stores for more details or navigate through multiple floors with a sliding bar.
Another of Here’s benchmark capabilities is getting better: offline maps now download in the background, letting you still use navigation and other features instead of waiting for the download to finish up before you can use the map again.
Nokia also dialed back the interface in several different areas to preserve the screen real estate for the map content. Also, this update comes with the usual round of bug fixes that Nokia says will make for a smoother experience.
The story behind the story: Nokia’s Here map has slowly grown to be the best alternative to Google Maps on Android. Originally it was just for Samsung devices, but since then has expanded to availability for anyone running Android 4.1 or above. Its offline maps feature is particularly strong in Europe, so it could be worth checking out if you’re planning on heading across the pond.