A few hours ago, we covered how Nokia was bringing Here Maps to Samsung smartphones and the fresh new Gear S. We’ve now received a report that shows us how Samsung are also releasing their mapping and navigation application for Samsung Tizen powered devices, too.
HERE for Tizen includes offline mapping and planning modes using the powerful newly announced Gear S smartwatch. You’ll be able to see where you are on the map, get walking and public transport directions all without a companion smartphone or even an Internet connection. This is one example of how the new Samsung smartwatch breaks the traditional wearable rules: Samsung’s Gear S doesn’t need a companion device. It doesn’t run Android, but it’ll come with a 2-inch curved AMOLED screen, 3G, sensor-assisted GPS / GLONASS, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. It runs a Tizen-derived operating system using a 1.0 GHz dual core processor with 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage. You’ll also find a 300 mAh rechargeable battery. The Gear S’ specifications read more like a miniature smartphone from 2012.
It’s no surprise that Samsung are keen to impress that in order to get the most from the HERE application and the Tizen-powered Gear S, you’ll need a compatible smartphone. That means something such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 or Galaxy Note 3 because again it looks like Samsung will restrict compatibility to their own in-house range of devices. The idea here is that you can use the smartphone to do some of the heavy lifting when it comes to planning the route, using the smartphone’s larger screen and bigger battery life. Once you’ve planned your route you can send it to the Gear S via Bluetooth.
Samsung’s Tizen operating system has a long, convoluted and confusing history. It is related to Samsung Bada, the lightweight operating system that appeared in 2010 and was effectively shelved in 2013 so that Samsung could concentrate on Tizen. Samsung has revealed plans to put Tizen into smart TVs, smartphones and of course wearables, including the Gear S. The cynic in me sees Tizen as an attempt to break away from relying on Google’s Android operating system, but it appears that Tizen is a lighter operating system than Android so it’s arguably better suited to simpler devices. Nevertheless, the introduction of HERE for Gear is an interesting development. At least some developers are supporting Tizen. It is difficult to see Tizen emerging into a competitor for Android, more the other way around thanks to Google’s Android TV project.