Hands on with HERE Maps – your new Travel best friend

Using Here Maps offline in Honolulu

Using Here Maps offline in Honolulu

HERE maps is your new best friend when you leave the country.

Up until now, the only reason I needed data when out of the country was for maps. Not anymore.

Although we did eventually get ourselves a sim card when in Hawaii, our initial plan was to be offline, unless in Wifi. My brother had told me about Here Maps a few years ago. He had a Nokia running Windows, and it came free with the handset.

It was launched on Android in late 2014 and iOS in early 2015. Just in time for our Hawaiian escapade!

HERE has a few distinct differences from my normal go-to, being Google Maps. The first obvious one is its offline capability. Another is the fact that it shows the speed limit, which for some reason Google Maps doesn’t do.

The app certainly does have some annoyances- one being that a default setting is for the phone to go  “BONG BONG BONG” when you approach the speed limit.  This scared the pants off me as I was negotiating driving on the wrong side of the road for the first time when we initially landed in Maui. We managed to sort it out though.

The app is also very difficult to actually quit, with my wife’s iPhone constantly being stripped of battery life as the app ran in the background.  We knew it was still running as it would occasionally pop out with driving directions, or a BONG BONG BONG. The only way we knew it was off was by restarting the phone.

Setting up HERE Maps is pretty simple.

Get it from the iTunes, Google Play or Microsoft Store and install.

In the main menu, go to “Download Maps” and select the area you’re wanting.  Many places, such as Europe and North America drill down into sub areas so you don’t have to download the whole region.

A good place to start (assuming you’re at home in Australia) is to download the Australian maps.  Make sure you select ‘Use app offline’ so you can test it out properly, and go for a drive.

 

 

How to navigate using HERE Maps

Note that the following has been done on an Android Handset running HERE Maps v1.1.10144

  1. In the search box at the top, type in your required destination.
  2. The app will list available destinations matching your search
  3. Select the correct destination
  4. Select mode of transport (Driving, Public Transport or Walking)
  5. Press Start
  6. Off you go!

 

HERE Maps is a definite must for anyone leaving the country, or even if you’re staying IN the country but are wary of data costs.

HERE Maps is available from  iTunes, Google Play or the Microsoft Store.

 

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