Samsung enters deal with Nokia to use HERE Maps

Nokia's HERE Maps will become available for all Samsung devices, as the companies have entered into a licensing agreement.

Samsung is a major player among the Android device manufacturers but it has been keeping its flavour of the operating system different from the pure Google experience since the very beginning. Now, it seems the company will push this even further by giving an alternative to Google's mapping platform which is the default map provider on Android devices.

HERE Maps are widely used by many manufacturers who develop devices based on competing platforms such as Windows Phone and Firefox OS. However, Android devices except a few such as the Nokia X, feature alternate mapping solutions as the Google Maps service is deeply integrated into the OS.

According to Nokia, HERE will be the default maps provider on the Gear S smartwatch, while other Galaxy devices can avail the application from the Galaxy App Store for free. Currently, the smartphone version of the app is in beta stage. The features revealed by the company include offline turn-by-turn navigation and public transport data of more than 750 cities in over 40 countries.

A couple of years ago, Apple completely ditched Google Maps in its last operating system. However, with Android it will be interesting to see how Samsung tackles the dependency of many applications on Google Maps which fail to install without its existence, if it decides to completely do away with Google.

Source: Nokia via Ars Technica | Image via Nokia

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According to Nokia, HERE will be the default maps provider on the Gear S smartwatch, while other Galaxy devices can avail the application from the Galaxy App Store for free.

So it's only going to be installed by default on the Gear S smartwatch? I didn't even think Samsung was using Android for its watches any more. Either way, I fail to see how that's going to make an impact.

Makes perfect sense. They must have written it to work with Nokia X. The offline features alone should make this an attractive option to users that are not addicted to Google-only services.

I just hope that when Windows Phone benefits that this benefits and vice versa.

This is good for Nokia and for Samsung users as well. Google maps are ok, but I really miss Nokia ones since I moved to iOS. They are definitely better.

No one has put as much time and effort as Google have into their mapping solution so, for this exact reason, I'll continue to use Google Maps. Time made it the best.

My love for Google maps was really the only thing that made me hesitant to switch to the Windows Phone platform. I gotta say though, I've been so incredibly impressed. It pronounces street names better (live in San Diego, lots of Spanish names). It's incredibly up to date. I think you and most people would be incredibly surprised at how good the Here maps are.

It'll be interesting to see if other OEMs try to distance themselves from Google as well... which could be good for Windows Phone and Microsoft services.

Holding out hope for the app to be released on Nexus devices as well in the future; HERE Maps is the only thing from Windows Phone I miss.

They still have to include it per Google's OEM requirements (they cannot just pick and choose the Google apps they want to include, they have to include the whole pack if they are approved for them).

Additionally, it has been established per the Skyhook incident that those who ship Google Mobile Services are presumed to be unable to bundle apps that directly compete with its services.

(See http://www.theverge.com/2011/05/12/google-android-skyhook-lawsuit-motorola-samsung )

Lirodon said,
They still have to include it per Google's OEM requirements (they cannot just pick and choose the Google apps they want to include, they have to include the whole pack if they are approved for them).

Additionally, it has been established per the Skyhook incident that those who ship Google Mobile Services are presumed to be unable to bundle apps that directly compete with its services.

(See http://www.theverge.com/2011/05/12/google-android-skyhook-lawsuit-motorola-samsung )

That's kind of anticompetitive then. With close to 90% marketshare I think we need a ballot on all Android phones.

Enron said,

That's kind of anticompetitive then. With close to 90% marketshare I think we need a ballot on all Android phones.

Paging USDOJ and EU...

Enron said,

That's kind of anticompetitive then. With close to 90% marketshare I think we need a ballot on all Android phones.

1. Not all of that is GMS Android. You've got AOSP, which includes Amazon and every chinese vendor.
2. GMS is completely optional, unlike things like IE on Windows, which is inextricable from the underlying OS.
3. If you're applying that logic, then Microsoft will have to ballot Bing, Skydrive, and every other service it bundles with its 90% marketshare desktop OS.