Google Maps is quite an innovation, and its street view -- while controversial -- is spectacular for figuring out where something is located. And it all just became even more interesting, as Google Maps for mobile devices has received significant upgrades that give more power and information to mobile users.
Mobile Mapping Improved
The new upgrades will primarily allow users to better understand the details about a location through social interaction while providing instructions on ways to get to a location on foot.
An interesting addition to Google Maps for mobile devices is the addition of walking directions. The details on this are a bit sketchy, and it is quite difficult to imagine how Google actually determines these walking directions. Are they limited to only specific locations?
Another new feature is the ability to use street view on mobile devices. Just as it sounds, this option provides the option of getting a street-level view of the current location. The technology behind Google's street view is a vehicle with a 360-degree camera on its roof that snaps photos, as it drives around on streets -- a simple, yet impressive concept. Google Maps for Mobile
One other feature is the ability to read reviews about locations that are left by other users on Google Maps. This functionality was introduced a few months ago, but it has now found its way into the mobile version of Google Maps. Now it is easy to find the perfect restaurant or movie theater.
While all the new additions to the mobile version of Google Maps are welcomed, there is another story developing from this news.
Drama Time: iPhone on the Sidelines
While the new release of Google Maps for Blackberry and Java-enabled phones is intriguing, the fact that Google has not released a version for the iPhone is a story on its own.
Google will be releasing its first Android phone very soon on the HTC Dream by T-Mobile, and speculation reveals that Google decided to pass up on the iPhone to give Android a leg-up on the competition. Can't blame Google for doing such a thing -- there is much more of an investment in Android than there is in the iPhone, so actions to make Android seem more valuable are likely to take place.
Unfortunately, judging by comments from readers on Google's official mobile blog, many iPhone and Symbian users, who were hoping to receive the same software upgrades, seem to be upset.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see how far Google goes to restrict non-Android devices, if that is the company's intention. Will Google be placing that much more favor in Android, that it might consider abandoning other devices? Well, it certainly has drama written all over it. We will know within the next week.
If interested in learning more about Google Maps for mobile, check out Google's official mobile blog. Also, be sure to check out Google's YouTube video with a short introduction of the new features.