Samsung is Ditching Google Maps for Nokia's Here

By Jamie Condliffe on at

However good Google Maps might be, Samsung has decided that it can do better. Teaming up with Nokia, a beta version of Here for Android is being made available exclusively for Samsung.

The new navigation app, powered by Nokia's rather good backend, will become available for Samsung smartphones with the launch of the new Gear S smartwatch. In fact, the wearable will include turn-by-turn pedestrian navigation powered by Here, with the ability to sync routes with compatible handsets using the new app.

Here was originally promised for Android, though it never actually arrived, so this is the first time it's made it onto a Google-powered phone. While it's not the first time Samsung has used Here—the mapping software already delivers navigation for its Tizen-powered smartwatches—it does further suggest that Samsung is keen to distance itself from Google.

But distance or otherwise, it's unclear whether the availability of an app will drive users away from Google Maps. When something's that good, why would it? [Here via Verge]