Nokia on Friday announced a partnership with Samsung that includes the arrival of a HERE beta app for Samsung's Android-based smartphones and plans for a pedestrian navigation system on the Tizen-powerd Samsung Gear S.
The move marks the first time the Finnish company's navigation app is available on the Google-centric Android OS, as well as HERE's entrance into the wearables space.
As for the Andriod beta app, it's scheduled to arrive in October to coincide with the launch of the Gear S, and will initially be limited to Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
As for the Gear S, HERE will power an app called Navigator, which offers turn-by-turn navigation when walking or using public transport.
Beside the ability to use HERE without internet connection, HERE for Samsung's Galaxy phones will have the ability to pair with the Gear S to sync routes with the smartwatch. This will allow the user to plan walking or transit routes on their phone, where the screen size is more amenable to such tasks, and then send the route via Bluetooth to the smartwatch.
The offline mode is definitely HERE's claim to fame, as it allows users to download and save maps from almost 100 countries for later use. But as it goes in the tech world, having a corner on a capability is a short-lived fete. Google's recent Maps update included offline map support, challenging HERE's signature feature.
Still, the team at HERE are confident that the Samsung partnership will help the app broaden its reach to more people and businesses across screens and operating systems.
"We believe that maps and location-related functionality are essential for any operating system," said Sean Fernback, SVP of Everyday Mobility for HERE. "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."