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:

  1. Press “0” to center the map view around your location
  2. Press the left-side key and hold it while you say the name or type of business you’re looking for (for example, “pizza”)
  3. 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.

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Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.