Editor’s Note: This post is also available on Sway, where our storytelling experiments continue.
Nokia has announced that the company’s Here maps platform has come to Android. Thanks to a licensing agreement with Samsung, it will be available for free, exclusively for the company’s Galaxy smartphones, such as the Galaxy S5.
Internet Not Required
Here for Android is a free app with “fresh” maps that keeps working even without an Internet connection: your location will still be found via GPS, and browsing the map, searching for places and offline navigation will keep working, even if you’re not connected.
Can’t search for places or plan routes with another map when Internet coverage is spotty or unavailable? No worries, Here has you covered with full map functionality available offline, like when you’re underground or in rural areas.
Keeping your maps stored on your device also means that they are “super fast.” Because they’re instantly available, you can pan and rotate them, as well as zoom in and out without any lag.
When you search for a place with Here, you’ll have the option to drive, walk or take public transportation to get there. You can adjust the directions to get the best route according to their personal taste. If you want to take a car, for example, you can exclude toll roads and get up to three different route alternatives.
You have two search options: you can type anything in the search field or use the search category list to see at a glance where all of the nearby restaurants, sights and movie theaters are.
If you go online you can enjoy more advanced features, like live traffic and real-time transit schedules. You can also share the places you find with family and friends and save your favorite destinations into Collections that can be synced with other devices and on the service’s website.
With Here, you can get maps for almost 200 countries, with turn-by-turn walking or driving guidance in almost half of those, traffic information in more than 40 and transit maps and directions in more than 750 urban areas across over 40 countries.
Not only is Nokia “continuously expanding the service’s coverage, but the company is going to introduce “more great features” in the coming months.
Besides the aforementioned ability to use Here without an internet connection, Here for Samsung Galaxy can pair with the company’s Gear S smartwatch to sync routes with it. Additionally, it works with Glympse and with Samsung’s Car Mode.
When you pair your Samsung Gear S with a compatible smartphone using the Here app, you can plan walking or transit routes on your smartphone and then beam them to the smartwatch via Bluetooth to continue the navigation there, giving you the “best of both screens.”
Glympse is a “fast, free and simple way” to share your location in real time with the people you trust. By tapping on your location in Here for Android, you can send a Glympse to your friends to let them know you’re on your way: set for how long you’re going to share your location, choose the recipients and hit send; Glympse will “take care of the rest.” For privacy, you can cancel your location sharing at any time.
Samsung Car Mode is an exclusive app for Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones specially designed for in-car use. It simplifies your phone to provide only a few, essential options, such as calling, messaging, music and directions. Everything is voice activated, so you can say where you want to go and Here will direct you there.
Here for Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones is available now.