Nokia Here to launch on Android as Samsung Galaxy exclusive, will power Gear S maps too

Nokia has announced that its Here mapping app will be available as an Anroid beta app just for Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

This news follows an announcement from yesterday, when Nokia said it had partnered with Samsung to also bring the Here app to Tizen-powered smart devices by Samsung such as the Samsung Gear S. Only it'll power the smartwatch's maps and location feature known as Navigator.

Positioned as an alternative to Google Maps, Here, formerly called Nokia Maps, is a mobile app that features maps in over 190 countries, as well as voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit data, and information on points of interests. And now it'll be offered as an Android app exclusive to Galaxy smartphones, just in time for Samsung to push out Tizen devices and slowly back away from its dependence on both Google and Android.

One of the biggest advantages to Here for Android is the ability to access maps without an internet location. The app supports offline navigation and can serve up your location via GPS, without having to cache small areas or download entire maps before-hand. There's also two search options: the search field for anything or the search category list for at-a-glance locations like restaurants. You can even share places, save destinations, and access real-time info.

Nokia also emphasised that Here for Galaxy phones can pair with the Gear S to sync routes. Speaking of Tizen devices, Here will also launch as Here for Gear and will power the Gear S' Navigator feature we mentioned earlier. It will boast turn-by-turn walk navigation, public transit routing, the ability to store map data for offline use, and a complete stand-alone mapping experience.

You can also pair the Here for Gear with Here for Android to get access to additional mapping functionality. Nokia's Here for Android app will be a free download later this year, while the Navigator app will be made available from the Samsung Galaxy Apps store when the Samsung Gear S releases.



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