Relations between Google and Samsung are already a little tense, but the Korean smartphone maker may just have elevated those frustrations a little further. Extending its existing deal to provide mapping data on Samsung’s Tizen wearables, Nokia (the part that wasn’t sold to Microsoft) today confirmed that it will bring Here Maps to Android for the first time, giving Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners advanced access to its own Google Maps alternative.
After Nokia jettisoned its smartphone division, the company doubled-down on Here, striking deals with a few of its former rivals, including Amazon, Jolla and, of course, Samsung. The app itself comes with many of the features you’d find in Google Maps, but also excels in some areas where Google doesn’t. A couple of examples include true offline maps, which are currently supported in 95 countries, and LiveSight, which lets users navigate to landmarks by following virtual signs on their screen. If you don’t own a Samsung smartphone, don’t fret; Nokia says that Here Maps will come to other Android devices by the end of the year (note: You can still use Google Maps, even on a Samsung handset). The Here Maps beta will make its way to Galaxy phones when the 3G-enabled Gear S smartwatch goes on sale, which is expected sometime in October.
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