Skip to main content

Nokia's map service, Here, arriving on Samsung smartphones

Nokia's mapping services will soon be appearing on Samsung smartphones, as the South Korean firm looks to minimise its reliance on Google applications.

The partnership will see a beta version of Nokia's Here app included for free on handsets and the Gear S smartwatch.

Read more: Brutal Nokia job culls poison Microsoft's relationship with China, employees stage protest (opens in new tab)

It has long been thought that Samsung wishes to distinguish itself from Google and its Android infrastructure and the South Korean firm's decision to pursue its own operating system, Tizen, is believed to have increased tensions between the two companies.

Previously known as Nokia Maps, Here is currently used by Yahoo, Amazon and Garmin, and also supplies map data for Microsoft's Bing search results.

The map service currently includes information on 190 countries, including step-by-step navigation, and public transport data. Individual maps can also be downloaded for offline use.

A version of the application is also being specifically designed for Samsung's Gear S smartwatch. Dubbed, Here for Gear, the software will be optimised for the smaller display found on the wearable gadget.

Ron Amadeo, of ArsTechnica (opens in new tab), said that although Samsung's decision to move away from apps developed by Google was understandable, it does have its drawbacks.

"For end users it just means a confusing experience with a ridiculous amount of duplicated apps," he said.

Read more: Why Samsung needs to shift from Android to Tizen (opens in new tab)

Nokia's maps division was one part of the company that was not purchased by Microsoft when it acquired the handset division of the firm back in 2013 for an estimated $7 billion (£4.2 billion).

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.