Internet search giant Google is again finding itself facing stiff competition in its mapping division after HERE maps, which allow users to save maps offline, is launched for free on Android devices.
For years, Google has held something of a monopoly with regard to mobile mapping software with Google Maps, but within the space of a week, two new apps have been launched which offer almost the same service as Google Maps, but allows the maps to be downloaded for use without data charges.
Last week, Maps.me, which uses the OpenStreetMap open-source maps system, launched for free on iOS and Android, and now HERE maps, which have been used on Nokia’s preceding range of phones, has made the transition from a brand-specific or paid option, to free.
Until now, aside from needing to pay for the app, Android users were required to go through the here.com URL, which required regular manual updating, but this has now been put into its own standalone app.
Making the announcement on its site, the team behind HERE maps said it has also added 18 new navigable countries, bringing the total to 118 countries.
iOS users will have to wait a little longer, however, as its own standalone app is due to launch sometime in early 2015.
Street map image via Shutterstock