Maps on Lumia WP8 devices worse than other WP8 devices in the USA?

Nokia MapsBing Maps
Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Nokia Maps
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nokia Maps

On Nokia’s new WP8 devices, they decided to completely remove the link to the normal “Maps” app on Windows Phone, meaning that you have to rely on Nokia Maps. This has a number of unfortunate downsides for those who live in the United States. Or at least in my city it does.

Slow Launch Speeds
Opening Nokia Maps takes a solid 2 extra seconds compared to the normal “Maps” app on the HTC Radar… and that’s comparing a single core WP7 device to a dual core WP8 device!! But with a new Lumia, you’re forced to use Nokia Maps (or gMaps in the Marketplace) and you can’t use the normal “Maps” app.

Lack of User Reviews
Finding good restaurants is unfortunately tougher on a new Lumia device. Nokia’s map app has zero or very few reviews of most restaurants, whereas the normal “Maps” app always seems to have reviews. El Charro Cafe, a popular Mexican restaurant in my city of around 1 million people (not a small city) has 25 reviews using Microsoft’s “Maps” app, but has zero reviews using Nokia’s app. I did find a restaurant with a review, but the same restaurant had 13 reviews using Bing Maps.

Lack of Store Info
Nokia Maps also lack store hours, an extremely convenient feature found in both Bing Maps and Google Maps.

Search Results are Poor
This whole article mainly applies to the United States, so I’m sure Nokia wins over Bing in other countries, but in my city Nokia Maps and Bing Maps tend to fail, with Nokia coming in last place. Nokia displays an El Charro location that is closed, but Bing (and Google) is smart enough to tell you that the location is closed. Search results for AT&T stores are miserable for both Nokia and Bing. Google of course aces the test and finds all the valid AT&T stores (cross referenced with AT&T’s website), but Bing displays locations that Nokia misses and vice versa.

The normal Bing Maps are still in Lumia WP8 devices, but can only be accessed when you click on an address in something like text messaging, as our editor Matthew pointed out. This leads to two separate mapping interfaces, which could confuse consumers.

Is anyone else disappointed with their new Lumia’s mapping experience? I feel like I bought an iPhone! 😛 Nokia, the solution is easy, just enable Bing Maps and stop messing with the Windows Phone experience! All Windows Phones are supposed to be the same other than some extras which you can always uninstall; you violated that!

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