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Nokia Here navigation app finds a new home thanks to Samsung

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A remnant of Nokia untouched by Microsoft's takeover, the Here app continues to roll out across all major mobile platforms and is now parked in the Samsung Galaxy corner of the Android district.

Members of Nokia's Here team say the navigation app will be available almost everywhere by the end of 2015. If that's still the case, Here's release on Samsung's Galaxy line of devices illustrates the app is still headed for a broader release on the Android OS.

Here's defining feature is its libraries of offline content. Users simply download the map packs for cities or states and then they don't have to worry with the delays associated with streaming content via their data plans or Wi-Fi.

Here features road maps from approximately 100 countries and public transit maps of 766 cities in more than 40 countries. Here also features live traffic, live navigation, bookmarking, map sharing and pretrip planning.

Right now, Here is in beta and available on Samsung devices running Android 4.1 and up. That fact that the navigation software received a beta release on Galaxy devices, rather than a final product, also bodes well for users of other Android devices that are interested in trying out the app.

Here's move to Samsung's products may not be Nokia's transition back to iOS and other mobile platforms. It could result in an exclusive relationship with the South Korean tech company.

Samsung is looking for an Android feature that sets its devices apart from rivals, including those running on the same operating system, according to Sean Ferback, senior vice president of everyday mobility for Here.

"We were looking for opportunities to work with them, particularly around the mobile space because they have a very significant mobile reach," said Ferback. "We went to talk to them, and one of the things they were struggling with was saying, 'How do we create something that just sets us aside from any other Android device?' And that's when they started to talk to us about their Gear and Tizen development plans."

Before Ferback alluded to Samsung's ambitions to hold Here to itself, the Here VP said in an earlier interview that his team was working to serve "common platforms."

"It was always the ambition to be on Android, we just took a decision at the beginning of the year to accelerate the program," said Ferback. "And also to ensure when we talk about apps, we're serving both common platforms, which is, of course, Android and iOS."

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