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Nokia Maps on your iPhone

If you’re an iPhone user and you’ve had enough of Apple’s latest maps app, there may be a solution just weeks away.

Apple replaced Google’s maps app with its own version in its latest iOS 6 operating system for iPhones, but the company came in for some heavy criticism, even forcing Apple CEO Tim Cook to publicly apologise to users.

Nokia has announced it will release a free maps app called ‘Here’ in Apple’s App Store within a few weeks, according to The New York Times. The company is also releasing a toolkit for programmers to make Nokia power maps apps for Android phones.

Nokia has said that in order to make its mapping app competitive, it needs lots of users – but due to low sales of the company’s Lumia smartphones, the company was facing a predicament. The more people who use the app to look up directions or search for locations, the smarter the app gets. Nokia will continue to add exclusive features to the maps app for its own phones, although the iOS version will feature voice-guided walking navigation and public transportation direction – something the Apple map app lacks. Users will also have the ability to download maps to use offline, which can be handy in tunnels, and will also make location searches much faster.

Not to be outdone, Google is also reported to be working on a map application for iPhone and iPad users – but it may not be released before the end of the year. Google had been surprised by Apple’s decision to replace its app with an Apple version, and will take time to develop it’s own, which may include 3D imagery, borrowed from Google Earth.

Judging from the popularity of iPhone 5 sales, with both Telstra Corporation  (ASX: TLS) and Optus – owned by Singapore Telecommunications (ASX: SGT) reportedly running out within hours of going on sale in Australia, there’s likely to be many users not enamoured by Apple’s map application and looking for an alternative.

A solution may be at hand – coming not from Apple itself, but two of its largest competitors, Nokia and Google.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.  The Motley Fool ’s purpose is to help the world invest, better.  Take Stock  is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead.  Click here now  to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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