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Here WeGo! Google Maps rival drops Maps branding

THERE

If focus is on routing and destinations, maybe they should have re-branded to THERE

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Re: THERE

Unfortunately the best name for mapping had already been taken by Northport Systems Inc.

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Meh

Re: THERE

Heh, I always thought that was pronounced foo-gar-wee... Far too innocent...

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Bronze badge

I saw one of their mapping cars yesterday tootling around Sydney

and by tootling I mean reversing back out of an ally that'd been closed off due to roadworks

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WTF?

Had a look, but...

...the permission details needed by the app are simply mad!

Identity

- Find accounts on the device

- Read your own contact card

Contacts

- Read your contacts

Location (this I can understand!)

- Approximate location (network-based)

- Precise location (GPS and network-based)

SMS

- Send SMS messages

Phone

- Read call log

Photos/Media/Files

- Modify or delete the contents of your SD card

- Read the contents of your SD card

Wi-Fi connection information

- View Wi-Fi connections

Bluetooth connection information

- Access Bluetooth settings

Device ID & call information

- Read phone status and identity

Other

- Prevent phone from sleeping

- Install shortcuts

- Control vibration

- View network connections

- Full network access

- Uninstall shortcuts

- Change network connectivity

- Pair with Bluetooth devices

Updates to HERE WeGo may automatically add additional capabilities within each group.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Had a look, but...

Would be easier if apps displayed the permissions they didn't use.

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Re: Had a look, but...

Given what it does, about the only odd permissions there are Phone Call Log and Contacts access. The rest is what you'd expect since you can associate your HERE account, share locations/progress, save maps, restrict updates/connectivity to Wifi only, create/delete destination shortcuts, and manage Bluetooth devices (external GPS or headset).

Welcome to Android's shotgun style permissions model. At least with Marshmallow you can disable/disallow bits for features you don't use.

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Silver badge

Re: Had a look, but...

Doesn't bother me: I'm on Cyanogenmod so it only gets the permissions I give it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Had a look, but...

Getting access to contacts makes sense too - if you have an address saved to a contact this lets you navigate there without having to copy and paste the address between apps.

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Re: Had a look, but...

Log/Contacts/SMS are for Glympse apparently. I've never used it and I've disabled them in Privacy Guard.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Had a look, but...

And phone call log would allow you to select a recent call and get it to either lookup that caller in your contacts then get address from there or, perhaps, use Google's phone number lookup system to get an address.

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Re: Had a look, but...

"Given what it does, about the only odd permissions there are Phone Call Log and Contacts access."

It probably gives you the option phone the business or whatever you select as your destination. If I can be bothered to pair my Garmin with my phone, it will do that too. I don't pair it though, because then the phone can't be paired with the car and I'd much rather be able to use the phone through the car hifi system than through a barley audible satnav speaker and use the steering wheel buttons for the phone so I don't have to reach up to the satnav touch screen,

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Unhappy

Hmmm

Can't see any footpaths :(

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Re: Hmmm

I do think I see a Pokémon. Will that help?

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Too much whalesong

If you just search for "maps", you usually get a list of apps with maps in their name, of which HERE will be a high-ranking app, and the person searching might pick HERE after reading a few map app descriptions. Now that can't be done.

If you search "here maps" that'll help narrow it down even more, it'll be the first result (unless Google sticks an ad for Waze in the top slot).

Now if you just search "here" who knows what you could get. You're at the mercy of Google's algorithm. They might suddenly decide to give more weight to "here" in the app's description than the title.

HERE Maps was a known name. The strategy boutique screwed up with that one.

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Re: Too much whalesong

First 3 results from googling "here";

maps.here.com

GoogleApps link for maps.here.com

iTunes link for maps.here.com

It's almost like theres a way to pay to be top of a search list

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Re: Too much whalesong

Personally I think the new name is fine. They obviously want to get away from "maps" which, at least on Android, is most associated with Google.

"Here Maps" was never a brilliant name and doesn't really suggest navigation – one thing Andrew didn't mention is that Here also does offline turn-by-turn navigation as good as TomTom in my limited experience – talking to non-native English speakers about "the navigation app called Here" is a bit like Abbott & Costello meeting "the artist formerly known as symbol": blank stares and exasperation.

"Here We Go" isn't brilliant but it is catchy (and less cringy than something like "WhatsApp") so well done whoever came up with it. In a couple of months we won't care. Maybe they'll even rebrand it again to just "We go!" or "Let's go!". As long as they have sufficient promotional advertising it'll work fine.

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Re: Too much whalesong

I was talking about searching in the Play Store, not Google.

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There's a reason they're focusing on navigation

It's what they're really good at - their app is great for driving, displaying all the information you need very clearly, including the current speed limit. It's why they've been bought to put their navigation software in all the major German car manufacturers' vehicles. If one of the things the Strategy Boutique said, before suggesting a stupid name, was "stick to your knitting" then they got that right, at least.

OTOH their suggestions for local points of interest are pretty hit and miss, at least in my neck of the woods - presumably because they lack the depth of local knowledge that Google acquires through its search business - so maybe that's why they've given up pushing that aspect of it. Being directed to a "nearest" petrol station 10 miles away, and subsequently finding there were several others just around the corner, does not endear you to the app!

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Vic
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Re: There's a reason they're focusing on navigation

all the information you need very clearly, including the current speed limit

Does it have vehicle options?

I've been driving a Renault van recently, with a *factory-fitted* GPS unit. And it gets the speed limits wrong on derestricted roads...

Vic.

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Facepalm

Check out here-we-go.org, I suspect the site is about to get a lot more traffic.

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Shit on it and stir

They supremely fucked up outdoor malls (where it's a couple dozen large separate buildings around a collection of parking lots) - they're treated as one big building now, and you need to click into them to find individual stores. It's now rather difficult to determine which building a store belongs to, which makes it difficult to find - the opposite of what a map app should do.

Oh well, now that offline maps actually works in Google Maps, they're a mostly-useless emergency backup. If they start popping up tons of ads and crap, they're gone.

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And it sucks, because I've used HERE for years, since Google Maps would freeze with T-Mobile's spotty coverage in rural Florida. They saved my butt several times. I'm sad to see them turn to crap.

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They do have a feedback button/contact. I've used it once or twice and have seen at least one recommendation/suggestion make it into the app. Of course it could've been on the to-do list before.

HERE saved my butt when I discovered Android's locations (without which Google Maps freezes up waiting forever) doesn't work without an active SIM (roaming got messed up) and I could use HERE as electronic map and compasses to find my way.

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maps.me (from my.com BV) is a free, completely offline (once you've downloaded the maps of your choice...) mapping and routing app (Android - don't know about iOS..). Uses OpenStreetMap - so if its wrong, you can correct it. Likewise it has lots of detail available (like house names for the blocks of flats in East London!)

(and yes, @Will Godfrey, it does show foot and bridal paths!)

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and yes, @Will Godfrey, it does show foot and bridal paths

Bridle paths. Bridal paths are, I assume, a route to matrimony, and are not normally shown on maps.

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Horses for courses: I have both Osmand and Here. If you're driving then good turn-by-turn navigation with optional traffic information is a godsend. I know OSM does navigation, but I don't think it compares well to the big boys.

On the other hand, if you're in the middle of nowhere on your bike and want to get to the next road, then something that knows all the footpaths is just what the doctor ordered. You can also load up GPX.

Both apps let you store the relevant maps on an SD card so the world is pretty much your lobster.

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Trollface

Fire everyone!

There is no 'h' in " 'ere we go ".

And if it's only written once then that's twice that it's wrong. In triplicate.

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Download size

A little more granularity on the download options would be preferable. Lumping all of Europe together into a 10,337 MB file means that I can download precisely no maps, leaving Google's download-the-bits-you-want option as infinitely better for me.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Re: Download size

On my phone, I get choice of which constituent nations of UK I want. I'd have assumed similar for Europe...

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Re: Download size

I suggest you read further than the first line when you go to Download Maps > Download More > Europe.

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Re: Download size

@Dan 55....Thanks... I think Here need to look at their UI. There's no indication that pressing Europe will do anything other than download all of Europe.. maybe a little + or arrow would indicate that there are more options. It's only when you then see some countries with the download option and others blank that you realise how it works.

It is clear why they've changed the name. It can't be used as a map! One of the functions I use most on Google Maps is just looking where something is, especially in foreign countries. Something on the news, a travel programme, etc. Just a quick search and I know where it is. Here doesn't do that. It only provides directions, something it simply cannot do where you have to fly to get there. New York? Sydney? Nope, can't find a route so won't show you where they are.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Download size

I just checked. Europe then gives me these

Albania 86 Mb, Andorra 46.6 Mb, Austria 278 Mb, Belarus 133Mb, Belgium 306 MB all the way down to Varucan City 71 Mb

France Germany Italy Spain, Russia are subvided into smaller sections.

This is on the app on Windows Phone 8.1 though...

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FAIL

I don't care what it's named...

because it still sucks at.... directions.

I tried to use it twice over the past few months and I'm seriously boggled by the routes it selects. Maybe it's because I'm in the US or something, but the directions were rubbish. Yes, let's drive through the most congested parts of St. Louis to get to the other side of town AND THEN take almost 100% back roads instead of divided highways with 65+ MPH zones.

*BOGGLE*

The good news is the permissions don't matter - it's been deleted with prejudice.

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Joke

I've been...

I've been using Google Drive for my navigation.

It's bloody useless, I keep going round in circles.

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Anonymous Coward

I would have thought TomTom was more competitive than Here. Once Nokia bought them they basically stopped any consumer slant.

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knowledge of crowds

The more data you acquire, with a feedback loop, and suitable analisys, the better the potential result. An article not so long ago talked about how long it would take for a contender to overtake google in the mapping game.

The greater the number of people who use wHere, the better the data, the greater the value for the owners.

Getting us non BMW owners to increase the quantity and quality of that data is, I think, a win-win both for users like me, as well as owners of big shineys.

Let the data get good enough, and with sufficient reference points it will, and there is the basis of the dataset needed for the self driving auto-monsters.

I suspect there will be a two or more tier product - that which is free, and that which is bundled, but in the short term, Here isn't building its business model on selling the user.

Just my (recently devalued) £0.02.

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Anonymous Coward

Poor quality data

Here Maps are pretty bad, nowhere near as bad as Apple Maps, but still pretty bad. It's far away from the quality of Google mapa

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Too bad the routing is absolute pants. It is supposed to be traffic aware, but it sent me crawling along the motorway before I gave up, dived down the next exit and asked Google to take me to my destination.

The only thing I like about HERE is the speed limit knowledge (when accurate) and that it shows my current GPS speed.

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IT Angle

Surely I'm not the only one to notice...

<b3ta mode>

Surely I'm not the only one to notice the big yellow cock-and-balls in the middle of the photo at the top of the article?!?!

</b3ta mode>

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Rather good as a navigation tool.

I have, for some time, used an android app for navigation on my bike. It is pretty essential and HERE seems to be about as good as you can get. I can here the Google maps lovers ready to hit back and my life would be so much simpler if I could use Google (a mapping service I contribute to) but off line maps is a must for me.

Having said that HERE is slow to update and act on input but until the day whole maps can be downloaded for Google for off line use it will remain a back up service when mobile.

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Re: Rather good as a navigation tool.

Im not a Google fan per se...but I do find it irksome that people claim products xant do somethi g when all they had to do was RTFM.

Google Maps has always had offline features. I use it regularly.

https://support.google.com/maps/answer/6291838?hl=en

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Les Barker fans will be singing this already

http://www.lyrics.com/user/playlist_play/1715149/0/0

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