HERE, the competitor to Google Maps initially available only on Windows Phone, has arrived on Android for the first time. Initially, the beta version of the Android app will be limited to Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
The main claim to fame of the app is that it offers the ability to download entire regions or countries for offline use, in contrast to Google Maps which only allows you to cache areas you have viewed while online. HERE maps currently cover around 200 countries, though turn-by-turn directions are so far limited to about half of these …
The sale of Nokia’s smartphone business to Microsoft is almost certainly what has made it possible for the company to open up the app to other platforms, but it’s also a further small step by Samsung away from Google. Samsung has been gradually distancing itself from Google’s Android platform, test-launching its first Tizen smartphone in June and selecting Tizen rather than Android for its smartwatches.
The full press release can be read below.
HERE for Samsung: Fresh maps for the new Samsung Gear S
29 August, 2014
Berlin, Germany – HERE, a leader in navigation, mapping and location experiences, today announced that it has partnered with Samsung to bring its maps and location platform services to Tizen-powered smart devices by Samsung, including the newly-announced Samsung Gear S.
With this partnership, HERE continues to broaden its reach to more people and businesses across screens and operating systems.
On the Samsung Gear S, HERE is powering an application called Navigator, which offers turn-by-turn walk navigation and public transit routing. The app provides a complete stand-alone experience, including the ability to store map data locally on the device and use it offline for navigation, directions and search.
To get the most out of Navigator on your Samsung Gear S, you can also pair it with a new app called HERE (beta) which HERE has developed for the Samsung Galaxy family of devices. With the app you can conveniently plan and calculate routes for walking and public transit on your phone and then send them to your smartwatch. The app will be made available for download from the Samsung GALAXY Apps store when the Samsung Gear S hits stores.
Available at no cost to Samsung Galaxy users, HERE (beta) offers among other features:
- Offline Navigation: Turn-by-turn drive or walk guidance without an internet connection for almost 100 countries;
- Detailed maps for download to use offline with your Samsung Galaxy;
- Public transport maps and directions for more than 750 cities in more than 40 countries available without an internet connection and live traffic information for more than 40 countries.
Sean Fernback, Senior Vice President Everyday Mobility, HERE, said: “We believe that maps and location-related functionality are essential for any operating system. HERE aims to deliver fresh maps, platform services and location cloud experiences to as many people and businesses as possible, independent of the device and operating system they are using. Partnering with Samsung for the Tizen OS, and providing maps and location services for the first time with the new Samsung Gear is another huge step for us in that direction.”
“Samsung is committed to providing consumers with the best possible mobile experience and we always look for partners to help expand the capabilities of our smart wearable devices,” said Chan Woo Park, Vice President of Product Strategy Team in Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics. “We are thrilled to partner with HERE and bring innovative, personalized mapping pedestrian navigation services to our Tizen-powered smart wearable devices starting with the Samsung Gear S.”