Thursday, January 29, 2015
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When it comes to navigation, Google Maps and HERE Drive Plus are the ultimate rivals both in terms of popularity and functionality. They both have a comprehensive map database documenting all the road networks based on information collected over a number of decades. They however vary in their abilities to guide users to their destination.
Here Drive Plus features voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation and also allows the user to select their preferred language for the instructions. There are over 50 distinct languages supported. More so, the app also conveniently allows downloading of map data to the user’s device so as to allow offline navigation hence functions nearly as well as a standalone GPS system found in most vehicles. Google Maps is similarly well featured as it provides a more or less detailed turn by turn navigation. It is however reliant on an internet connection to work.
2. Display Features
Although both the mapping applications cover almost all areas of the world, they have some differences in terms of imaging. When it boils down to satellite view, Google Maps has the advantage as you can zoom in on the map to the level of tagging your own house. During navigation however, the visual appeal goes to Here Drive Plus for its simplicity. On Google Maps, most of the information and overlays clutter the screen such that you can easily get lost trying to find your way. On the Here maps however, things are organized for a simple and crisp view. Business information are hidden behind positional icons, leaving only the traffic and detour details for easier commuting.
Google Maps and Here Drive Plus are similarly flexible in that they are well integrated with Android and Windows Phone respectively. That means that in both these platforms it’s possible to link the map data to your contacts as well as other applications. Google maps however is marginally restrictive for the fact that it requires a working internet connection and is only found on Android and iOS. Here Drive Plus on the other hand can be used offline and is available on other platforms (currently in Beta).
4. Local Search and Other Features
Both Here Drive Plus and Google Maps are designed to help users identify places of interest such as hotels, businesses and tourist attractions. Here is however better at this since it’s coupled with City Lens, a complementary augmented reality feature, that makes the whole experience lifelike. There are more features of both mapping applications that may differ but very minimally and these include;
- GPS lock time
- Coverage and
- Public Transport information
Both of these maps are excellent navigations tools and pack a fair range of features to get you to your destination and beyond. It may be difficult to recommend one over the other but it is clear that Here Drive Plus is the easier one to use, more appealing and the most data efficient while Google Maps is the more detailed one thanks to its data reliance. All in all, the differences may not really be important so long as you get to your destination hence either one can do.