Surprise twist as Nokia's HERE rolls out beyond Samsung Galaxy smartphones

HERE's upcoming availability for Samsung Galaxy smartphones was announced in late-August, and, at first, it appeared to be an exclusive launch. But, shortly after, Nokia's arm revealed that the app would actually be made available for every compatible Android smartphone "later this year".

HERE launched in beta for Samsung Galaxy smartphones only two weeks ago. For a first public release, the amount of features available is rather impressive, even for someone like me who is used to the fully-featured HERE suite on Windows Phone. And, now, everyone with an Android smartphone running any of the three Jelly Bean iterations or newer can also test what HERE has to offer (as long as the device has 1 GB of RAM or more), as the app's availability is extending beyond Galaxy smartphones.

This is the only major change that Nokia's arm boasts in today's announcement of HERE for Android, compared to past Galaxy-exclusive iterations. That said, the team behind it is already working on a couple of fixes, among which one that allows the app to play well with so-called cache-cleaner apps.

Currently, using such an app will result in the navigation voices being deleted and, as such, losing the benefit of voice-guiding with turn-by-turn navigation. A permanent fix is set to be released in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you should obviously stop using cache-cleaner apps in conjunction with HERE.

HERE'S highlights are turn-by-turn navigation in almost 100 countries, comprehensive offline maps for nearly 200 countries, live traffic information in over 40 countries, and public transportation directions in over 750 cities from over 40 countries.

It is not yet known how the app will be made generally available on Android, once it hits stable status, but the beta can be grabbed now from the HERE site. Ideally, it should be offered on Google Play as well as other Android app stores, like Amazon Appstore.