First, Samsung announced that Nokia’s HERE Maps would be the default navigation app on their Tizen-powered Gear S. That wasn’t so surprising. What is really

Nokia’s HERE Maps arrive on Android, courtesy of Samsung

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Nokia HERE for Samsung

First, Samsung announced that Nokia’s HERE Maps would be the default navigation app on their Tizen-powered Gear S. That wasn’t so surprising. What is really a big surprise is the news that HERE Maps is coming to Samsung’s Android-powered smartphone range as well. Android has Google Maps built in, so this move is significant.

A strong feature of HERE Maps is the ability to use it without an internet connection, as well as access to turn-by-turn voice navigation. HERE Maps for Samsung’s Galaxy phones will be able to pair with the Samsung Gear S to sync routes with the smartwatch.

For now, HERE Maps for Android will be exclusive to Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones. Perhaps, some other Android OEMs will consider similar deals to enable them offer HERE on their devices too.

These new developments beg the question: What exactly is Samsung up to? Are the Koreans gradually reducing their dependence on Google? First, they ditch Android Wear for Tizen on the Gear S, ditch Google Maps there as well, then push Google Maps aside on their Android smartphones too. Forget whatever Google says in public about this: they can’t be very happy right now.


  1. Are The Koreans Gradually Reducing Their Dependence On Google?


    One Of The Major Things That Could Be Making Samsung Cautious In Totally Dumping Android And Launching Onto The Tizen Highway Is The Issue Of Services.

    Once They Can Replace The Critical Services Offered By Google (Maps Is One), They Are Good To Go.


  2. I think that Samsung realizes that in order to secure itself no long time future it has to reduce its dependence on one company. Take a look at Apple and how good they have done by reducing their dependence on other companies. Some years ago Apple cut ties with Google with their mapping services in order to go their own way, it didn’t work out as they hope but at the end its one less thing that Google could use against them.

    The android ecosystem is filled with too many players, which makes it very important that Samsung differentiates its product from other OEM. That’s why they need to keep Touchwiz no matter what, all they need to do is optimize it properly.Taking a look at my Note 3 i rather much keep Touchwiz considering the features particularly the S-Pen features i would loose if i should switch to Cyanogen, SlimKat or Paranoid ROM (tried it with my old S2, ended up switching back to Touchwiz).
    HERE maps is just another way for Samsung to make their device better than the rest of the android crowd. HERE maps offers true offline map caching and navigation which is not available on Google maps.

    On Tizen, although i do not really care for it, i rather have Samsung put Tizen on their smartwatches like the very capable Gear S than Android wear. In my opinion Android Wear so practically useless, i do not care much for Google Now even on my Note 3. Notifications is not enough reason for me to shell out $250 for a smartwatch. Tizen is also supposed to run android apps, so the days of Samsung having Android OS as their main OS might just be about to come to an end.

  3. Samsung won’t be relieving their Android dependence anytime soon. Tizen’s in the ICU, almost dead on arrival. there are custom ROMs for your Note 3 that will allow you keep S Pen functionality like the Jedi Elite KK ROM

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