Shortly after Microsoft announced its new Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, Nokia unveiled the first smartphones to ship with the new platform out of the box: Lumia 630, Lumia 635 and Lumia 930.
Moreover, the Finnish company has confirmed that one of its most popular services will be available for free to Windows Phone 8.1 users when the new operating system gets released on the market.
According to Nokia, current Windows Phone 8 users who upgrade to the next version of the mobile platform will be able to get HERE Drive+ for free, saving up to €35 ($48).
Although HERE Drive is available for free on Windows Phone 8 devices, there are some features that users will need to pay for such as HERE Transit, which will be available for free for Windows Phone 8.1 users, even if they don’t own a Nokia Lumia smartphone.
HERE’s Pino Bonetti has confirmed that his team has extended the benefits of free voice guided car navigation in 97 countries to everyone no matter what smartphone they own, as long as it runs Windows Phone 8.1.
But there’s more to this, as the HERE Maps, HERE Drive+ and HERE Transit have been updated for Windows Phone 8.1 platform with new features and improvements.
According to Bonneti, the team of engineers has updated the way users see the maps in all applications: “in select countries you can see buildings in 3D, in addition to realistic 3D landmarks that help you orientate yourself in a city.”
The aerial images have been updated as well, so HERE Maps users can now zoom even more in order to see additional details. It looks like now you will be able to use two finger gestures in HERE Maps to rotate the map in the direction you wish and tilt it to enable the 3D mode.
Another highly requested feature introduced in the latest version of HERE Drive+ is the ability to long press anywhere on the map to set one’s destination.
The new features mentioned earlier will be available for everyone that uses a Windows Phone device and upgrades to Windows Phone 8.1. Obviously, those who switch directly to Windows Phone 8.1 from another mobile platform will have the new features at their disposal right away.
Those unfamiliar with HERE services should know that the location app works both online and offline and it can automatically choose the right connection at the right time. Does this HERE-related announcement make you want to switch to Windows Phone?