One thing I have always found a bit odd with the Bing Maps application bundled with Windows 8/8.1 is the lack of offline map support – something my wee phone has been able to do for ages through Nokia HERE Maps. For laptop and tablet users like myself, this is quite a big deal whilst on the move. Well it appears my worries are now over as Nokia are bringing their HERE maps to the wider Windows 8.1 and RT platform. It’s currently only available on their Windows RT-powered Lumia 2520 device, but the latest application update will change that. What’s more, it will be free for everyone, though rollout will start in America and Europe first.
This update also brings improvements for Lumia 2520 owners too. These include:
• Speed – “The offline maps load as quickly as your computer can manage, of course, so it’s a lot faster than using a website for navigation. But there are also speed improvements to the online portions.”
• Mouse & keyboard support
• Latest high-resolution satellite imagery
There’s no denying Google are still king when it comes to mapping services, and by quite a considerable margin – often I’m frustrated with the search results I get using Maps/HERE Maps whilst Google provide the right answer almost every time. But this is a positive step – let’s hope other areas of the product improve rapidly.
Although the map information for Windows 8/RT devices may be different compared to Windows Phone, the following lists how much storage you will need for key regions:
UK: 482 MB
USA: 2900.5 MB
Canada: 1102.1 MB
Germany: 621.4 MB
France: 758.2 MB
Spain: 424.8 MB
Australia: 326.3 MB
The application should be made available in the Windows Store in the coming days. Keep your eyes peeled!
Source: Three Sixty