Huawei’s latest devices have no access to Google’s Play Store, instead relying on its own store, called Huawei AppGallery. This means many crucial apps aren’t available. Now, an important arrival means one area with a big gap – navigation – suddenly has enough apps to make AppGallery a potent alternative.
This week, TomTom Go Navigation launched on AppGallery. This means it’s now available on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store as well as on Huawei phones.
As reported by fellow Forbes contributor Zak Doffman earlier in the year, AppGallery previously took a big step forward in mapping terms when the excellent Here WeGo Maps debuted on Huawei’s store.
Here WeGo offers special benefits such as offline use thanks to free downloads of country maps in advance. But using it offline means no traffic information, for instance.
And though Here WeGo has an impeccable pedigree – it began as Nokia Maps when the Finnish company bought NavTel – it has never reached critical mass.
TomTom, however, is an unquestionable big beast in the world of mapping with huge name recognition. It also has an offline setting, something that’s strikingly important for navigation apps, since you may well be using it abroad where roaming costs can be high. With TomTom Go Navigation, detailed 3D maps are stored on the phone.
Go online and traffic information and speed camera warnings are available.
TomTom specialities include moving lane guidance which helps drivers navigate intersections by indicating which lane is best. You can also customize maps by adding or deleting regions as needed.
The only downside is that TomTom Go Navigation, unlike Here WeGo and indeed Google Maps, is not free. There’s a 30-day free trial, after which it costs $12.99 per year, $8.99 for six months or $1.99 per month.
This is not TomTom’s first collaboration with Huawei. The company uses TomTom’s mapping solution in its Huawei Mobile Services kits, which developers can use – ride-share apps need mapping kits, for example. Those are not accessible to consumers, of course, but this app, based on the same mapping, is.
Oh, and that’s not the end of the story. Huawei’s own Maps app is coming and is being developed in conjunction with TomTom. It Huawei gets it right, it could diminish the loyalty to Google Maps decisively.
You can, of course, use Google Maps already, through a web browser, but that’s hardly the same. You can even download the app on to Huawei phones, but its features are not as comprehensive. No, the big change will come with Huawei Maps, but this week’s TomTom Go Navigation addition is a very welcome arrival which works flawlessly and has the best mapping in the business.
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