Google announced yesterday that they are releasing a version of their acclaimed Google Maps which can work on mobile phones!
This is a major announcement as it is the first downloadable cellphone application Google has produced – doubtless, more will follow (Google Payments for mobile anyone?).
The app works on a range of nobile phones – see if your phone is included:
- go to Google’s GetStarted page, and
if you are not with one of the listed carriers, choose Other from the bottom
- Select your phone manufacturer (Nokia in my case)
- Now see if your phone model is listed (the Nokia 6230 in my case, is listed – wohoo!)
This is the next logical extension of all the online mapping applications (Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth, etc.) – you don’t always have a pc with you, but you nearly always have your mobile phone with you – and network coverage for mobiles if far more extensive than wi-fi coverage.
I pointed my Nokia 6230 at the Google Maps for mobile site and downloaded the application onto my phone (it is a free download but download charges may apply from your mobile operator).
A couple of disappointing things I noticed about the application – there doesn’t appear to be any data for cities outside of the USA yet (despite that information being available on the main Google Maps site – obviously that data will be added soon enough as Google already has it.
Also, my Nokia 6230 is apparently unable to display Satellite images, according to the Google Maps for Mobile app – I am not sure if this is a shortcoming of the phone, or of the application.
What I did like about it is the easy numeric key navigation – each numeric key is assigned a function (Search, Directions, Move Map, etc.).
Another winner from Google Maps – where is the competition on this one?
Robin Blandford alerted me to MGMaps – another free Map application for mobile phones – this time released under a Creative Commons Licence. I tried it out and although the interface isn’t as polished as Google’s, it has the distinct advantage of maps and satellite data for Ireland, displayable on my Nokia 6230!