Last week the Here Maps app were relisted for the Windows Phone Store and made available once again for all “Windows Phone 10[sic]” devices with a caveat. Some devices could not install Here Maps from the store links and people were wondering why. Some theorised that perhaps there was a separate link for Windows 10 Mobile Here apps, and others just thought the store was bugging out as usual. The explanation is a lot simpler than that and it has to do with app licensing.
If we cast our minds back to 2013, Here Maps was a Nokia exclusive app rather than a Windows Phone exclusive. Non Lumia devices like the HTC 8X and the Samsung Ativ had to make do with Microsoft’s own homegrown mapping solution.
On February 2013 during MWC, Nokia announced that this would no longer be the case, they would be making Here Maps free for all Windows Phone devices, and immediately released a set of Here Maps app non Lumia devices could use. Now, in Windows Phone 8, the Windows store app would segregate apps properly by device type and wouldn’t show you any app your device couldn’t run so if you searched Here Maps on a Lumia, you got the Lumia licensed store apps, if you searched for it on non Lumias, you got the non Lumia version.
The new Windows Store doesn’t do this intelligent segregation, rather it exposes all the Here apps for all devices in one listing, causing users to be confused when the app is shown rightly to be incompatible.
The trick to easily finding out which version to install depends on your phone history. If you’re using a Lumia 950 or 950 XL and have previously chosen Lumia devices, the set of apps for non Nokia Lumias would not have the “owned” designation on them and you should be free to download and install them.
Have you had any luck installing Here on your phone? Let us know in the comments below.