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Nokia plans its own free map app to take on Apple, Google

Nokia's apps will let users download maps and search for directions offline. The navigation itself will come through satellites, so the maps won't require Internet access.

(Photo: Reuters) (Photo: Reuters)

Nokia is planning to launch its own free map app before the year ends, to compete with Apple and Google.

According to CNET, Nokia's map apps will not require an online connection to generate driving directions. The apps would also be geared directly toward individual consumers rather than toward Nokia's usual business customers.

Nokia's apps will let users download maps and search for directions offline. The navigation itself will come through satellites, so the maps won't require Internet access to work. Users of Google Maps can trigger an offline mode to use downloaded maps, but the app isn't ideally designed for offline use, the report said.

The Finnish handset giant already offers a map app called Here Maps, which is available for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone. The app initially supported the iPhone and iPad, but Nokia pulled the app last year over issues with iOS 7.

Nokia Here executive Sean Fernback said he is convinced people are looking for alternatives. The report quoted him as saying that though Google Maps is a good solution for many as it works very well, but the app has looked the same and done the same for a long time.