The pain you must have all felt; Google Maps not being able to take advantage of the built-in GPS chip in your Verizon BlackBerry Storm. What was worse, if you unlocked your Verizon Storm, Google Maps worked fine on any other carrier — something totally weird. Well, good news. Google has just released an updated version of Google Maps for BlackBerry which supports GPS right out of the box, and it also includes Latitude so you can get your stalking on. Of note: Google politely told any other Verizon BlackBerry user (Curve 8330, 8830) to go screw themselves since the Storm is the only device with a third party-accessable GPS chip. For any other BlackBerry addict, don’t get too excited as this isn’t a new release of Google Maps for you, it’s just bringing the Storm handsets up to date with what you already had.
If rumors are true, then it looks like Bell in Canada is taking a page from the playbook of Verizon Wireless by crippling the GPS on select Blackberrys. Over the next few weeks, Bell may be increasing the GPS lock time (2-10 minutes) and resolution (1-2.5KM) of Third Party applications while maintaining the speed (10-15s) and accuracy (10-25m) of their own GPS Nav program. These changes are presumably meant to force lure customers into using Bell’s crappy superior GPS Nav program instead of the built-in Blackberry Maps or the free Google Maps. You knew this was coming… the GPS Nav service will cost $10/month or $3.50/day in addition to the $$ for a data plan. The phones to be affected will include the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition, BlackBerry 8130 Pearl, and BlackBerry 8330 Curve. Any Bell customers with Blackberrys out there care to comment?