New Rev of Mobile Google Maps Simulates GPS – iPhone Next?

Gmm1

One of the enduring complaints about the first-generation iPhone (other than the price, slow EDGE data, AT&T exclusivity, limited storage, battery life, no third-party apps, no landscape keyboard outside of Safari…) is the lack of GPS support in its version of Google Maps. While several high-end smart phones now double as navigation tools, the iPhone requires you to enter your starting location for driving directions.

But that fault might soon disappear. Yesterday, Google rolled out Mobile Google Maps 2.0, which features My Location, a service that uses the positions of nearby cell phone towers to guess where you’re located. It’s not available for iPhone yet, just BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and S60 Nokias (if Apple allowed third-party apps, you’d already have it…), but it seems like an iPhone GMaps update is inevitable. I tried to make it work on my circa-2004 BlackBerry, and it doesn’t work. I now have a phone-crashing application, and that’s it.

Anyone have it working? How accurate is it in your neighborhood?

Via GigaOM 

  • Stephen Darlington

    Worked just fine on my HTC P4350. Thought it might be a US-only feature initially, but then it claimed to pin-point me to within 600m. In fact it was more accurate than that at both the locations I tried it.

    Very cool. But quite scary that Google can collect all this information about you.

  • Electroboy

    Apple actually update the iPhone with some real, useful, upgrade-worthy software?? Sounds too good to be true. Maybe they’ll upgrade the google maps software if it will somehow make it easier for us to purchase songs/ringtones from the iTunes music store, ’cause that’s what we all really want to do anyway. All other potential applications are a waste of potential revenue generation on the iPhone.

  • Ken

    Hey, that’s a block from where I work! How did it know where I am?!? >:)

  • Pete Mortensen

    Yeah, um…that’s a little documented feature called “Ken’s Location.” Sorry, dude. I should have given you the heads-up…

    ;)

  • bw

    you forgot “no multimedia SMS text messages”

  • TF

    I am in 30 Rockefeller Plaza using BlackBerry 8703e and it’s putting me exactly two blocks north.

About the author

Pete Mortensen

Pete Mortensen is a design strategist for consulting firm Jump Associates and the co-author of Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy, a book and blog that are significantly more interesting than you might initially think. Pete's particular Apple avocations are both around design--interface and industrial. Follow him on Twitter!

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