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Samsung gets an Android exclusive, at least for a few months

When it comes to smartphones, Samsung has been largely reliant on Google’s Android operating system. However, Samsung has shown some signs that it wants to keep its options open, hence its decision to devote resources to its homegrown Tizen operating system. Unfortunately for Samsung, its efforts to actually launch a mainstream Tizen-based smartphone have largely fizzled.
However, Samsung today announced a smaller-scale move that will give its Galaxy smartphone users a credible alternative to an existing Google product. Nokia’s HERE Maps will now be available for Samsung Galaxy users to download and use for free.
HERE Maps brings with its functionality that is very similar to what you’d see with Google Maps, and adds a few advantages of its own to entice Galaxy users to make the switch. The most important advantage is that HERE Maps allows you to download entire countries to your device to use offline rather than just caching small areas (99 countries are currently supported for offline maps).

Nokia also points out that the HERE Maps will be able to sync with the brand new Gear S smartwatch.
The HERE Maps Beta will first be made available as an exclusive for Samsung Galaxy smartphones in October. However, other Android devices will receive the app before year’s end.

Source: Nokia

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By GulWestfale on 8/29/2014 9:37:53 AM , Rating: 3
the offline mode would be great for cuba, where google maps was useless thanks to a lack of internet... so i used the map in a cuba travel app, which somehow managed to work offline.
so HERE might be good for that, in case i ever visit havana again, but other than that i don't see why i would switch from google maps.

RE: cuba
By hughlle on 8/29/2014 9:47:17 AM , Rating: 2
This is why i have maps with me (think it's changed its name though). Offline maps of anywhere you'd like, and reliable, unlike my experiences with downloading offline maps from google maps. Anywhere i've internet, it's google maps, but if i run out of data or battery or such, then i have an immediate alternative :)

I just don't see a reason not to use google maps. It does everything i want and it is accurate! I just got my sp3 and fired up microsofts maps, not sure who developed it etc, but i told it to find my location and upon doing so noticed a huge number of errors. Shop locations being 100m off etc, or on completely the wrong roads. I'll stick to google :)

RE: cuba
By tonyswash on 8/29/2014 10:49:02 AM , Rating: 1
If you live in the UK try the 'UK Map' app. Allows you to download Ordinance Survey maps for any area in the UK to your iOS device, very good value for money, excellent app.

RE: cuba
By Mitch101 on 8/29/2014 11:18:50 AM , Rating: 2
When your in a WiFi location and not sucking your data plan dry Nokia Maps aka HERE is perfect. The Maps are excellent.

Also if youve ever been in an area where you cant get a data connection you can get pretty out of luck with google maps so having the maps downloaded works really well.

To think that nothing will ever compare to google is silly. Try it your data plan will thank you and even if you just use Here for getting you in the general location then switching to Google maps at least youll still save on data usage.

RE: cuba
By FITCamaro on 8/29/14, Rating: -1
RE: cuba
By Banana Bandit on 8/29/2014 10:09:30 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like someone that's never been to Cuba.

RE: cuba
By GulWestfale on 8/29/2014 10:32:57 AM , Rating: 3
well, cuba:
$1 mojitos
$8 three-course meals at upscale restaurants with live music
very hot, dry climate
not many polluting, noisy, idiot tourists outside of the resorts
no internet or cell phones, so very relaxing
cheap escorts, if that is your thing

it's communism, so sometimes even getting food (even at high end places) is difficult, as things like beef or even bread are sometimes simply not available. even supermarkets run out of simple things like water bottles.
everyone is trying to sell you something or scam you as the average doctor or lawyer only makes 25 bucks a month, but a taxi driver can make that in a single day off of one unsuspecting tourist, so you have to be very careful.

pro tip: don't ever buy cigars outside of official government shops (casa de la habana) because any cigar bought anywhere else is literally just two tobacco leaves filled with dried banana leaves. given that real cubans cost as little as 1 dollar (or 4-6 for hand-rolled ones), don't cheap out and get the real deal.

RE: cuba
By GulWestfale on 8/29/2014 10:46:57 AM , Rating: 5
i uploaded a few pics from my trip with descriptions just for you guys.

RE: cuba
By GotThumbs on 8/29/2014 10:55:44 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for sharing.

RE: cuba
By Mitch101 on 8/29/2014 11:21:04 AM , Rating: 2
TV/Movies has rotted and painted a different pictures in everyone's brains including my own thanks for sharing.

Unless your convincing us to go there so you can rob us tourists?

RE: cuba
By GulWestfale on 8/29/2014 12:23:59 PM , Rating: 4

there's the rest of 'em. Perhaps i was a little negative, but i should have listened to my friends and stayed at a resort.

RE: cuba
By Banana Bandit on 8/29/2014 2:46:42 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for sharing those bro.

Looks like a really cool place to visit on a vacation.

RE: cuba
By Mitch101 on 8/29/2014 5:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed thanks for sharing. Any other tips about going there please share.

RE: cuba
By GulWestfale on 8/29/2014 5:26:02 PM , Rating: 3
- as an american, take a plane/boat from mexico or a plane from canada. the cubans won't stamp your passport if you ask them. cheap trips from canada can be bought through "selloffvacations dot com", they ususally have deals like $550 from montreal for 1 week in an all-inclusive 3 or 4 star hotel.
- have different expectations. you will not have cellphone service (unless you pay 10 bucks per day, but who are you gonna call?), internet (wifi is 10 bucks/hour at the hotel habana libre), or any real connection with the outside world. basic items like bottled water, toilet paper, sun cream are hard to find, so bring your own if possible.
- your credit or bank cards will NOT work. well, some of them allegedly do, but my canadian cards did not. bring cash. and save $25 because that is the departure tax at the airport.
- you can rent private dwellings. rooms are 10 bucks/night, entire apartments start at 25. this is important because you are not allowed to bring a local girl (or boy) to a hotel, and they are not allowed to let you enter their homes. so if you want to "socialize" you need a "casa particular." just type that into google and you'll find a few ebsites that offer them. the best ones are in habana vieja, vedado, or in between. an apartment in habana vieja with air con can be as high as $75 per night, but you can still book a hotel and only use a casa particular for one or two nights. you see them advertised as you walk through the streets, as they have small blue signs over the door. some places are crappier than others, but all are licensed by the government (which takes a huge cut), so they are trustworthy.

RE: cuba
By GulWestfale on 8/29/2014 5:31:27 PM , Rating: 3
- everyone will sell you something or ask you to marry them. example: when i arrived, i noticed the customs women all wore a military outfit, but with fishnet stockings. i smiled, thinking this vacation is starting off well! but a few days later i realized that they all wear fishnets because a) they cannot afford anything else, and b) they actually don't sell anything else in the shops. money is useless when the shelves are empty. fishnets are unimportant of course, but this extends to all other things. supermarkets only have a few pieces of meat every day. people shop using coupons given to them by the government. so they will try to get out of cuba any way they can, at any price. it was my first time there, my spanish sucks, and i could have married a beautiful 18 year old girl if i had said yes. i said no, but this shows you how desperate they truly are to get off their island. the revolution really only worked out for castro.

RE: cuba
By GulWestfale on 8/29/2014 5:41:03 PM , Rating: 3
- there is a bookstore in vedado called "cuba libro," a play on cuba libre. it is run a woman from new york, although, being foreign, it actually belongs to her cuban husband. i think the address was calle 24&calle 19 (calle meaning street), but i'm not sure. they speak english there, sell used books (thank god, with no internet you need books), and they can give you more tips. it's not far from the bacardi building, if that helps.
- jineteros/jineteras: this means "riders", as in they ride tourists, figuratively, and for a few dollars, literally. they are essentially pimps, hookers, taxi drivers, and everything else you want them to be. they can get you anything, legal or illegal, as long as you pay. but they are criminals, so they will rip you off big time. there is no such thing as "today your lucky day, my frehnd, is samba festival!", and the buan vista social club members all died years ago, so no, they can't take you to see them. jineteros make a commission from bar and club owners to bring you there, so they will convince you that the buena vista guys are still alive, and probably singing with elvis.

- cigars: only buy from casa del habano. even cigars at hotels are fake. cheap brands like guantanamera or belinda cost a dollar each and are machine-rolled. the taste is very mild, so they are a good starter cigar. good, fat, romeo y julieta wide churchills (google it) are 7.50 a piece, but cost 425 each here in Montreal, so pick some up. they have a rich taste without being too strong. the most expensive ones are cohibas, with castro's own favorites going for 75 bucks EACH. i bought a mix of guantanameras, romeos, and some cohiba cigarillos.

- it is hot there in july. so hot that the skin on my forearm blistered. i wore my cowboy hat from texas teh first few days, and cars actually stopped and honked at me with their drivers yelling HEY COWBOY AMERICANO! at me, all in good fun though. then i bought a local straw hat and the honking stopped.

RE: cuba
By GulWestfale on 8/29/2014 5:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
that should have been $25 for a wide churchill in montreal, not 425 lol

food: you can buy delicious sandwiches with ham and cheese from many stalls for very little money. there was one restaurant on la rampa where you could get a plate-sized pizza and a can of soft drink for the equivalent of 1.25.
the europa, a nice sit-down place in habana vieja offers club sandwiches for 2 bucks, and alcoholic drinks for 1.50. they have beautiful decor, live music, and even a pair of cuban dancers. the woman in a light summer dress, the man, a black guy in white slacks, a red shirt, and a hat. very classic-looking, very elegant. really nice place, would be very expensive here. i ate there twice, and paid less than 10 dollars each time, including drinks.

anything else you wanna know, just ask.

RE: cuba
By GulWestfale on 8/29/2014 6:02:50 PM , Rating: 2
RE: cuba
By Mitch101 on 9/2/2014 1:01:55 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for all the info I e-mailed myself and wife your comments. Looking at scuba options there.

RE: cuba
By Alexvrb on 8/29/2014 8:36:54 PM , Rating: 2
HERE maps is great. Whenever I travel into regions with poor or no reception (mountainous areas, large swathes of West Virginia, etc) the offline maps are fantastic. While other phones are showing neat checkerboard patterns, mine isn't phased in the slightest as long as I've got the sky above me.

The other big benefit is that I've got limited data. That's one less thing to chew through my data. I just download the entire country on wifi once, and update as needed. I also like having music offline for the same reason.

Not a Fan...
By AstroCreep on 8/29/2014 1:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
I like my Windows Phone a lot. I bought my Lumia 920 the day they were available in the US. I found most all of the Nokia programs and features to be pretty nice.
But not their mapping/GPS programs. Compared to Google Maps, I have been sent far out of my way numerous times with HERE programs and their predecessors.
Before I go anywhere I usually look it up on Google Maps and HERE before I leave so I can compare the routes.

What I find particularly funny is how often I read about how extensive Nokia's mapping data is, which it may be, but their ability to actually use that data to get me where I need to go must be a forbidden art.

RE: Not a Fan...
By StevoLincolnite on 8/29/2014 7:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
I have had the opposite experience.

Here! Maps/Drive etc' have been absolutely fantastic here in Australia, especially out in the bush where there are no street signs or actual roads, just dirt tracks that you scream around on with a dirt bike.

It's actually a sad state of affairs that it's being ported to another platform, because it's actually a massive draw card for many users into buying Windows Phone. (That and being able to use a phone with motocross gloves on.)

RE: Not a Fan...
By Alexvrb on 8/29/2014 8:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
Do you update your maps? It's like a GPS, worthless without latest maps. I have had very good luck with HERE maps, myself. Not to say it's perfect, but it has been quite good.

RE: Not a Fan...
By AstroCreep on 9/3/2014 6:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. Whenever there are updates I download them. Though it seems that the actual routing "Engine" used is never updated based on updated map data unless a road is closed/under construction.

As an example, when I first started dating my GF the route it gave me to take to her house took me a good 10 minutes out of the way (including telling me to take a left when I needed to take a right, since it was a one-way road) to save two miles.
I even tried using the HERE Drive and set it to use the quickest route (versus shortest route) and it presented the SAME route.

And just to test to see if there were any updates in routing function, I punched her address in back in July. No updates...even down to the wrong turn.

Maybe it's my area; maybe it is just bad in the Northeastern Ohio area. :/

Nokia retaining software
By HardwareDufus on 8/30/2014 6:50:36 PM , Rating: 2
The part that amazed me about the Nokia Devices sale to Microsoft, is that Microsoft (a software company), did not acquire the Here series of Software from Nokia.

Nokia bargained well. They basically get everything back in another 18 months.

Here Maps Suck
By Arsynic on 8/29/14, Rating: -1
RE: Here Maps Suck
By testbug00 on 8/29/2014 9:52:09 AM , Rating: 3
I'm sorry, you haven't actually used the service.

RE: Here Maps Suck
By Arsynic on 8/29/2014 1:52:18 PM , Rating: 2
I own a Windows Phone. Obviously I don't have a choice but to use it. Unlike you, I realize that these apps are not perfect and need more than a "turn here now" notification. I'd like to have some visual que of what my exit is. If the my exit is #125, I want that information on the screen. Google does it, Bing maps does it and every GPS I've used does it, but not Here Maps.

RE: Here Maps Suck
By FITCamaro on 8/29/2014 9:57:34 AM , Rating: 2
Yes because visual indicators aren't good enough. I rarely look at what exit it's telling me to go to when using Google Maps. I just follow the route.

RE: Here Maps Suck
By Banana Bandit on 8/29/2014 10:14:55 AM , Rating: 2
Why you would they need exit numbers if it is telling you exactly how may yards to drive until the next turn/exit and which way to turn?

Would be pretty redundant in a situation when you don't have that much screen real estate to work with.

RE: Here Maps Suck
By hughlle on 8/29/2014 10:23:51 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't that what printed out directions are for. To me, nearly the whole point of GPS maps is that you no longer have to worry about road names and junction numbers, the GPS is there to do that for you and simply tell you when to turn. No GPS i've used has ever told me to turn off at junction 17 or on marble road, it simply states take the left in 300 yards. any more info becomes counter-productive.

RE: Here Maps Suck
By Banana Bandit on 8/29/2014 2:50:26 PM , Rating: 2


"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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