Smartphones are widely used nowadays because of the ease and convenience they bring into our lives. You can download as many apps as you want to help you become more productive at work, manage your finances, or simply pass time. One category of app that has proved to be useful to smart phone users and motorists alike is maps.
The most popular map application to date is Google Maps. Nothing has come close to beating the accuracy and rich imagery that Google’s map developers have come up with. Other search engines, including the Microsoft-owned Bing, sought to follow Google’s path and released a map app of their own.
Even the Silicon Valley behemoth Apple, with its large talent pool of developers, has not beaten Google in the mapping arena. Its revolutionary 3D maps, launched in 2012, failed to live up to expectations and tanked.
Given the dominance of Google Maps, many tech companies are still on the road to developing the next big map app. Take Nokia for example. A player in the mobile phone manufacturing market, Nokia has developed its own map application called Nokia Maps. The company touts this as more than a map app with its personalization and social sharing features.
Nokia Maps Review
To find out whether Nokia Maps has a chance of supplanting Google Maps, I downloaded the app to my smartphone. I was satisfied with the quality of data and photos generated by the app but it’s still a far cry from Google Maps. It was slower in returning search results and it cannot provide a street view of a location – a feature that’s widely popular among Google Maps users.
I then compared it to Bing’s own map application hoping that it would at least be up to par. Sadly, I was mistaken. Bing’s map app was superior to Nokia Maps. Although it can provide a satellite view of a location, Bing was better in providing a more detailed view of the address when using the zoom feature.
To me, this begs the question – Why do tech companies like Nokia insist on committing resources to map app development when it’s obvious that they can’t outpace Google?
The answer is simple. Every tech company out there is after the data collected in map apps.
Every piece of technology we use, whether it’s our smart phone or laptop computer, collects data that these companies can use to improve their products and make them more intuitive. The more intuitive apps are of the needs of its users, the better chances of success it has in the market. Such is the case with Nokia.