As we prepare for the eventual Google Mobile experience, there are a few updates that are worth noting.
First, last week Google released a terrific update to their Maps application on Friday, which now runs native on S60 devices. You can download from your phone via http://www.google.com/gmm. Speed seems much improved in loading and moving through maps over the Java version as you might expect from a native app. Google Maps also now fully supports GPS which is just awesome. It does not seem to support AGPS yet, but connects very quickly enough if you are not deep inside a building.
Compared to Nokia Maps, it’s a bit quicker for general location awareness and directions, but you can’t tap into saved locations from your device (yet) and you can’t get live turn by turn directions with spoken updates for driving – but you can see live traffic! POI are tied with Google and seem to be better than Nokia Maps… I can see myself using this a lot… I’m sure I’ll be checking in with Google Maps when I land in San Francisco tomorrow.
Last night I became aware of an update to GMail Mobile… which can be downloaded at http://www.gmail.com/app. While it’s not native there are some nice improvements which seem worthy of the update. You can save drafts though only one which is helpful if you are tapping something out on your phone and get interrupted or run out of time. While you still cannot send attachments, there’s a pre-load option so messages pop open much more quickly. This uses more data so non-unlimited plan people take note… There’s a status on how much each transaction uses so you can keep tabs on things if you need.
Based on the release of the Native S60 Google Maps application, I’m hopeful that we’ll see a native GMail as well. Aside from attachment sending, I’d really like to see an auto-refresh option so my new mail is just there waiting to be read… Manual refresh works quick enough, but saving that step would be appreciated.
A-GPS, Driving, Gmail, Google, Google Maps, GPS, mobile, N-Series, N95, Navigation, Nokia, Nokia Maps, S60, Travel
10 Replies to “Google Mobile Updates”
Tried it on Friday – I had no idea it had just been released. A welcome return for the GPS integration, though the lack of saved locations is pretty daft for the speed of use it gives, especially when recovering from an app crash (yeah, like that’s going to happen 😉
Now, if someone would make a GPSd for S60 so multiple programs can make bluetooth connections to a single GPS… Maybe this won’t matter eventually in the days of N95 and location APIs.
@Crouchingbadger hopefully they’ll get access to the S60 landmarks since it’s native in a future release.
FWW – I am able to use both Nokia Maps and Google Maps at the same time… both with GPS activated.
Good note Jonathan. How do easily upgrade what you’ve already got installed? Got a 3G (ha! we’re so lucky in Europe) Nokia N73 and the Google mobile apps I find are excellent.
So it also sounds like you’re leaving your iPhone alone of late and using the N95, yes?
Now if only the darn things could sync Notes with something useful on OS X!
@Hugh – I just installed right over what I had running and Gmail was actually running for me when I did it. I agree 3G and 3.5G (HA!) are wonderful – no going back!
The iPhone is my ewb surfing tablet / media player most of the time … at least since I got the new N95. Notes are definitely missing but I can do todo, contacts and cal.
thanks jonathan. v cool. note it installs a second copy of google maps if you have one pre-installed which you ought to remove. gmail apps effectively overwrites existing copy but gives you an option to retain settings.
btw – after you trip to iceland last year, some friends and I are planning on going there beginning of december for christmas lunch and some beers!! hope it’s good!
keep up the good blog.
@Hugh – we are clearly on the same wavelength here… I just deleted the J2ME version of GMaps.
Iceland was very cool, I was there for business but still managed to get in the sites and have some fun. We were there right before Thanksgiving and it was dark until after 9am which was very odd… though apparently it’s even darker when you are planning to go. Enjoy!