“The Kindle Fire has been wildly popular but with no Google Maps and no pre-installed map like most other mobile devices, this is a real opportunity to establish ourselves as the leading brand on this platform, and as a provider of the best map app for its users,” said Skobbler’s co-founder Marcus Thielking in a statement.
Skobbler reckons ForeverMap2′s combination of speedy map engine tech plus OpenStreetMaps data and fully featured offline maps give it the edge over rivals. “We feel that we have pretty much a map engine that is on the same level as Google’s — pure technology wise. And that’s way ahead of our competitors — the non-Googles, including Nokia by the way — out there,” Thielking told me last month.
Other features included in ForeverMap2 include address search, location finder, route calculation and POIs — which all function in both online and offline map versions
Skobbler says it is aiming to become the number one maps offering on the Kindle Fire. The company is taking a different tactic with the Kindle Fire than Google’s Play Store — offering ForeverMap2 as a free download with the offline maps component of the app only available via in-app purchase (on Google Play the app is a paid for download with one country offline map included in the initial price).
ForeverMap2 offline maps on the Kindle Fire app are priced at $0.99/£0.69 for Cities; $1.99 for States; $2.99/£1.99 for countries; $5.99/£3.99 for continents; and $9.99/£7.99 for a global offline map.
Asked how ForeverMap2 can beat Nokia’s Here (also free to download, and offering users the ability to “save map areas & wander without data coverage”), Thielking claims Here offline maps are very limited when compared to ForeverMap2′s fully featured offline maps — noting that Here only lets users download a “certain amount of map tiles”, at a “certain level of detail”. The size that can be downloaded is also “limited” — for instance, he says “you can’t get the entire city of Berlin”. Finally he says Nokia’s method gobbles up a lot of data — claiming that downloading Berlin offline maps via Here takes around 50MB of data.
Skobbler has also made its app available for Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Color, NOOK Tablet and NOOK HD/HD+ slates — in two versions: a free version with online maps, and a paid version which costs $5 that includes offline maps. Thielking says the reason for the two versions is that B&N’s store does not support in-app purchases at present.