Nokia maps to appear on Samsung phones

Samsung Gear S smartwatch A version of Nokia's Here mapping service is being prepared for the Gear S watch

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Nokia's mapping service will soon be appearing on Samsung smartphones.

A deal between the two will see a test or beta version of an Android app for Nokia's Here maps included free on handsets and the Gear S smartwatch.

The move is widely seen as a way to help Samsung distinguish itself from Google which oversees Android.

Formerly known as Nokia maps, Here is also used by Yahoo, Amazon and Garmin and it provides map data for Microsoft's Bing search engine.

The map service covers 190 countries, offers turn-by-turn navigation, tourist information and public transport details. In addition, the maps can be downloaded to a device so they can be used offline.

A version of Nokia's mapping service is being specially prepared for Samsung's Gear S smartwatch. Called Here for Gear it will be a navigation system optimised to use the relatively small display on the wrist-worn gadget.

Writing on Ars Technica, Ron Amadeo said Nokia maps was just one of the apps Samsung was keen to stop relying on Google for. However, he said, Samsung's strategy had some disadvantages.

He said: "For end users it just means a confusing experience with a ridiculous amount of duplicated apps."

Nokia's maps division was one of the parts that Microsoft did not buy when it acquired the phone-making "devices and services" part of Nokia in 2013.

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