Google has been slowly extending its Maps Navigation feature throughout its Android platform starting with Android 2.0 devices, then Android 1.6 devices, and most recently to Android-powered handsets in the UK. As part of its UK announcement in London, Google re-confirmed its intention to bring this free navigation to other platforms including the Apple iPhone. No timeframe for release was mentioned for any of the alternative platforms, but with Google and Apple’s relationship a bit strained, hell may have to thaw a bit before this comes to fruition on the iPhone. More →
Windows Mobile and Symbian users don’t ever have to worry about getting lost or having to remember their favorite places again. Google recently announced that Google Maps has been upgraded to version 3.3 for Windows Mobile and Symbian. The upgrade now allows you mark your favorite items with a star and keep those synced between your computer and phone. As soon as you upgrade on your WinMo or Symbian device, Google will ask if you want those starred items synchronized between your phone and Google Account. For those of you that rely on starred items in Google Maps, you’ll also be happy to know that you don’t have to go through each favorite spot individually on your phone. More →
If you’re currently using every other Android device besides the Motorola DROID, you might have thought that Google was holding out on that navigation love. Luckily, and just in time for your holiday travels, Google Maps Navigation has just been made available for Android 1.6. Now your myTouch 3G, Motorola CLIQ and T-Mobile G1 can better help you in getting around your in-laws’ town for turkey day with GPS voice navigation, automatic re-routing and Google’s new Layers feature for navigation. Unfortunately for Hero and Eris users, you’re left out in the dark until HTC and your respective carriers crank out that 1.6 Donut update for your phones. We’re crossing our fingers for you that it hits before Christmas. More →
After being ousted from the Great North by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in 2007, Google has been given a reprieve in some Canadian cities. Greater Toronto, Montréal, Metro Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary and other large communities now have Google Street view data available both in the browser and on the iPhone in the Maps application. According to CBC News, Google continued to film some of Canada’s major cities while trying to address the privacy concerns of the Commissioner. Sneaky, sneaky. If you want to get your Street View on, it’s available for use as of today.
[Via The iPhone blog]
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.
Fan of Google Maps? Use it a lot on your cell phones? Maybe you use Loopt to stay in touch with friends and family and check out what they’re up to and where they are? Well, starting today, Google’s new Latitude feature looks to steal their lunch. Google not only lets you see yourself on the map, but your friends as well (assuming they accept your invitation and opt-in to sharing their location with you). Google Maps for mobile with Latitude is available now for Android (it’s in the current RC33 update that’s being rolled out), Blackberry, Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile. The Apple iPhone version will be available soon as part of the Google Mobile App. And, if you don’t have a smartphone (uh, why are you even visiting this site?), you can even add the Google Latitude Gadget to your iGoogle homepage. If you use Google Gears or Google Chrome, the location of your desktop or laptop can be tracked, too. Pretty awesome stuff. Just don’t go askin’ any BGR writers to share their location, we’re pretty private people, you know.
Palringo first launched its instant messaging app for the iPhone back in July and for six months it has been one of the best options available for IM on the iPhone. The app is sleek and functional, marrying text IM, picture messaging and PTT-like vocal messaging with a multi-platform solution that covers all of the major chat services. Oh, and it’s all free. Today, Palringo announced a new build that adds some great new functionality to its already-capable app revolving around Location Based Services (LBS). As is the trend these days, software developers are finding all sorts of different ways to integrate LBS into their offerings but sometimes things get a tad out of control. Do you think any of your Twitter friends really want you to broadcast your location every 10 minutes? In an IM app however, location adds a new and useful layer to contact presence and Palringo is working on some great features. Included in this update, users will now see location and distance (from the user) data alongside each Palringo contact in their list. In a forthcoming update due very soon, tapping a contact’s location will bring up a map displaying all contacts within a 6-mile radius. The user will also be able to bring up a map displaying his or her own location. We’re sure you can see where Palringo is going with all this, but suffice it say we can expect pretty great things in the near future from Palringo surrounding LBS. If you haven’t tried the app yet, definitely hit the app store and do so. Those of you with jailbroken iPhones, toss Backgrounder into the mix for best results.
If you look up in the sky today, you may see some pigs flying as rumor has it that Verizon Wireless has unlocked the GPS on both the 8330 Curve and the 8130 Pearl. This apparently is not a cruel joke but an early Christmas present (or a long overdue upgrade, depending on your perspective). We have tested it ourselves and BlackBerry Maps indeed picks up the internal GPS. You can see that we have locked on to 8 satellites in the screen capture above. It only appears to work on OS 4.5 as BlackBerry Maps for OS 4.3 did not have the option to select the Internal GPS. We couldn’t get Google Maps to work, either – it still used the crude cell phone triangulation method to pinpoint our location. Wow – did anyone think this day would ever come? We sure didn’t
Thanks, Nate and everyone who sent this in!
Last night, Google added Google Earth to its arsenal of iPhone / iPod Touch-invading apps and all we can say is wow. We imagine 99% of BGR readers have at least played with Google Earth on a computer at some point but for those few who aren’t familiar, it’s an application that lets you look at… The Earth. You know, like satellite view on Google Maps but waaay more intense. The video above is from Google’s release announcement and it goes through a variety of cool functions that are accessible. The movement and zoom are insanely smooth and clear on the iPhone’s display and that tilt feature is pretty sweet as well. Even if it is just a novelty for most, it’s still one of those must-have apps for when people annoy you with, “what’s so cool about the iPhone anyway?” The app is free of course and you can snag it in iTunes by hitting this link (phobos / iTunes link alert) or by searching Google Earth on your device.
Look, we don’t want to get into it this time. Apple seeded new firmware to developers, it doesn’t do any of the things we all want it to do, end of story. Well, almost end of story. Version 2.2 beta 2 of the iPhone firmware might not let you copy / paste, type an email in landscape mode, receive an image or video via MMS or receive push notifications for third party apps… But you can look around Google Maps in street view now! Woo hoo! How useful a feature – we’re so glad Cupertino is so focused on it as opposed to, say, implementing a system that will actually make third-party apps a tad useful. Kudos fellas. Giving iPhone users the ability to look around at buildings and trees from random points around the country is far more important than the rest of the features we’re waiting for. Well, at least there’s also walking and public transportation directions included in this version. Super, can’t wait.
Google Maps Mobile is probably Google’s most actively developed mobile application. It seems like there are new versions popping up for one platform or another every couple of weeks these days. In the past few months for example, Google has issued a native S60 version updated several times, various versions that can make use of internal GPS, versions that can integrate with device phonebooks and Nokia Maps, cell-based location, etc. For the most recent feature addition, Google has decided to implement a bit of voice recognition. Sweet! A new version of Google Maps Mobile has been made available for the US BlackBerry Pearl 8110, 8120 and 8130 that allows users to speak their search criteria rather than type it. Voice search uses the same voice recognition engine as GOOG-411, Google’s free information service, so we know the accuracy will be spot on. Using pretty much couldn’t be easier:
- Press “0” to center the map view around your location
- Press the left-side key and hold it while you say the name or type of business you’re looking for (for example, “pizza”)
- When you’re done speaking, release the left-side key, and our voice recognition technology will figure out your request and find the business you’ve been looking for, no typing needed.
These days there’s a pretty good chance that the rest of your BlackBerry-toting friends make fun of you from time to time because you’re still carrying a Pearl. Opportunities might be few and far between, but here’s a good chance to show them a little something they can’t have quite yet. Hit http://www.google.com/gmm from your Pearl to snag the latest build.