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PreCentral: Use Nokia's Here mapping service on your webOS smartphone, thanks to homebrew

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Use Nokia's Here mapping service on your webOS smartphone, thanks to homebrew

Earlier this week, Nokia rebranded their pretty-darn-good Nokia Maps as 'Here' and launched their maps outside of Microsoft's Bing and Windows Phone platforms (and Nokia's own much-maligned Symbian platform). What made the rebrand/relaunch interesting was that Nokia will be launching apps for Here on iOS and Firefox OS in the near future, with Android support on the horizon.

Here also debuted a new online webapp so you can check out and use the service in your browser, even on smartphones. Unless it's a webOS smartphone, that is. It's not that they're deliberately dismissing webOS, no, it's that the webOS browser just isn't up to snuff anymore. Thankfully, webOS itself can handle the service, so long as it's packaged as an app.

That's exactly what lauded homebrew developer 72ka decided to do. If this sounds familiar, that's because 72ka is the force behind the all-too-awesome homebrew Google Maps app. He seems to have a thing for maps apps, and considering that we're otherwise stuck with a sub-par Bing Maps app on webOS, we're okay with him having a thing for maps apps. 72ka describes the Here maps app as a "simple webview container to allow user interactions", circumventing the webOS browser's inability to permit user interactions with the Here website. And just too tickle our awesome bone a little bit further, he's planning to offer the app for free through the webOS Nation Homebrew Gallery (installable via webOS Quick Install and Preware) and it's available under the Apache open source license.

There are still some things to work out - 72ka says it's an alpha at this point - including support on webOS 1.x (currently the app won't load) and fixing an awkward half-loading problem on the TouchPad. But even then, this webview container of an app is a stopgap measure. When Nokia announced Here, they said they would be releasing an API for the maps next year, which 72ka hopes to use to build a native app for webOS. But until then, if the Bing apps map doesn't do it for your and you're just sick of Google, check out Here.

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