Google Maps and other Blackberry Apps

Posted December 03, 2007 by Jim Ciallella

A review of the Google Maps for Blackberry and a list of some other useful BB apps.

Kudos to Olivier for out geeking me to the latest version of Google Maps for the Blackberry. I downloaded it this weekend and it is pretty darn cool. I've loaded a number of other free BB apps. If you have a Crackberry I'd suggest playing with these guys. Add to the list if you know of other nice, free apps.

Cool factor #1: Google Maps knows where you are. Apparently, it uses some form of geo-location via cell towers and falls back on GPS as a secondary method. Who knew?

Cool factor #1.5: There is a blinking blue dot which refreshes every 5-10 seconds or so and it's pretty accurate. I switched to satellite imagery, zoomed in to see the roof, and watched myself move from one end of the house to another.

Cool factor #2: You can search Google Local results without entering in a City, ST or zip. It knows where you are, so you type gas, food, or web design and it will find things in the area. I typed in 'gas' and it found a station down the street I often forget exists.

Coolness #3: In addition to finding businesses you can view any details Google has about the company. For example, it shows phone numbers which you can simply click on to make a call (nice integration). I searched for 'web design' and unfortunately the results didn't give OrangeCoat as much love as the PC based results. However, I think the results will differ when I'm actually in Greenville and not 15 miles north-east of the office. After a few tries I narrowed the search to find our office.

Uncool / Creepiness #1: When I mapped our office it actually put us on the intersection of I385 and Hwy 276. Now, the former OC World HQ was located within a few hundred feet of this spot. However, the search results showed the correct 300 East Stone address. So, either it's just messed up or Google somehow knows about the old office. I later did some other lookup and it did manage to map the office correctly.

Cool #4: When you search it adds push pins where the results are located. You can mouse over them and select a location. Then you can get step-by-step directions or more details.

Coolness #5: It's free, it's easy to install and you can add favorites. Though I'm not sure why you need favorites. It seems if you like something that much you probably already know where it is an how to get there. I guess it's good for showing off.


Jim Ciallella ~ December 03, 2007

O'Reilly has more on Google's My Location and they read into the future of how this technology is likely to be part of the upcoming Android mobile phone platform.

They also point out the app is available on "BlackBerry devices, some recent Motorola devices, some recent Sony Ericsson devices, many Windows Mobile devices, and Nokia Series 60 3rd Edition devices"

olivier blanchard ~ December 03, 2007

If I can geek anyone to anything on a Friday night in a crowded bar filled with a) good looking women and b) an unlimited supply of alcohol, I can truly accomplish anything.

Very cool stuff. I was still stuck on watching myself drive down the road.

Jim Ciallella ~ September 18, 2008

New Google Maps is out, including Street View.

Jim Ciallella ~ November 20, 2008

Google Sync now synchronizes your Google Calendar and Contacts with Blackberry's calendar and address book.

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