When Nokia released its Lumia 2520 tablet back in November, many understandably wondered whether—or when—the firm would make the HERE Maps app available for other Windows PCs and devices. Well, that day is here: An improved version of HERE Maps can be had for free, and it works with all versions of Windows 8.1, including Windows RT 8.1.
If you're familiar with HERE Maps and the other HERE navigation and location apps on Windows Phone 8.1, then you understand why this is such a big deal. On that platform, HERE Maps replaces Bing Maps on Lumia handsets, but in Windows guise, this app picks up some features we see in other HERE apps, such as public transit information, plus some unique features like street-level views. So you can use it when you're out and about. But you can also use it to learn more about a place you're going to visit.
According to Nokia, HERE Maps provides the following functionality:
Different views. Pick the map view you want: satellite, public transit, local traffic, street level or regular street map.
Dedicated city pages. Explore a city before you visit, download city maps, see public transit lines and find out about the best local places. It uses a unique Snap-like view so you can access this information side-by-side with a more traditional map.
Street level view. See panoramic views of places you're interested in and look around to explore, just as you would if you were already there.
Directions. Get walking, driving and public transit directions
Favorites. Save your favorite places in your own private collections, add personal notes and cover photos and sync everything with other HERE apps and here.com.
Pins. You can pin collections to your start screen and access them with just one tap
Accelerometer support. On a tablet, you can tilt the map to see cities and buildings in 3D. (You can do this with the on-screen controls as well.)
Share. You can share favorite places with friends via email, Facebook and other social networks.
Offline capabilities. You can download maps to your device and use them for free when abroad or whenever there is no available Wi-Fi or data connection.