End of the road
If you own the latest Lumia 950, like I do, then we’re both literally screwed. HERE has announced that it will continue to support Windows Phone 8, primarily for critical bug fixes. So if you’re still using a Windows Phone 8.1 device, then HERE Maps will still work. Just don’t upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile any time soon.
According to HERE spokesperson Pino Bonetti, the team made HERE apps compatible with Windows 10 via a workaround. This, however, will no longer work after 30 June 2016.
It’s a no go
He cited that to continue offering the mapping suite for Windows 10 would require them to redevelop apps from the ground up. It boiled down to a business decision to remove HERE Maps from the Windows 10 store.
But wait, how did this happen? Well, the thing is, when Microsoft purchased Nokia’s mobile division, it didn’t secure rights to HERE Maps (smart move Nokia). Nokia subsequently sold HERE to Audi, BMW and Mercedes for a tidy sum of US$3 billion last August. The automotive bigwigs look to focus on ioS and Android platforms.
The point of no return?
This is a mighty blow to the Windows Phone platform, having lost some big names like American Airlines, NBC and Pinterest over the last year.
According to Microsoft, it is planning an update for its own Windows 10 maps app. It is set to roll out to Windows 10 beta-testers first. Microsoft licenses HERE map data, but not all functionality of the HERE suite for Windows Phone.
Microsoft recommends Windows 10 users to use its preinstalled Windows Maps app. Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8 PC users can continue to use HERE apps without disruption, but they will not receive any further new features.