It’s no secret Samsung is the King of Android and Google damn well knows it. While Google Maps reigns sovereign in the world of digital mapping, Nokia’s Here is regarded as a solid alternative to it. This week Samsung announced that Nokia is now bringing its Here mapping software to it’s Galaxy phones. This is part of a licensing agreement that will tie in the app to the recently announced Gear S smartwatch, which runs Samsung’s Tizen OS.
The Mapping Android app, will initially launch in beta, and will be available once the Gear S watch goes on sale.
This is a small step into the future for Samsung’s mobile devices since they own the biggest market share of Android phones, and now the company feels its mature enough and can no longer play along with Google’s rules. Samsung has previously has issues with Google behind the scenes over using Tizen instead of Android Wear on the company’s watches.
In Here Maps the app saves map content for offline use, offers directions that can be paired with the Gear S watch, and includes maps for over 200 countries. Much of the interface looks, while clean and minimalist, more at home on Windows Phone.
It can be recalled that the Nokia devices and services division, responsible for building its smartphones, became part of Microsoft in April as part of a $7.2 billion acquisition designed to bolster Windows Phone.Nokia’s Here connects to Samsung’s in-car mode that simplifies the interface while driving, reducing the choices to calling, messaging, music, and directions.
This is just the begging for Samsung, how they will be able to get alternatives for all Google’s Android Apps and still attract and retain it’s high market share in the mobile space is yet to be seen.