Google Maps on Cingular Samsung Blackjack – it works!
One of the best applications that I had on my Treo 650 was the GoogleMaps application. It was simply amazing and incredibly useful + practicle. Just like on the desktop, Google Maps on the Treo allowed me to tap & drap the map around and it would auto-refresh the screen. True to Google Maps’s features, it also allowed me to see the satellite version of the map as well. And for directions, it was awesome — it would highlight the route and allow me to tap a key to get to the “next step” on the directions to the destination. Basically, it’s like manual GPS in your pocket at anytime.
When I bought the Samsung i607 Blackjack on the Cingular Network (which is now free after rebate), one of the first applications I tried out was of course GoogleMaps. However, it didn’t work….or at least it was rendered unusable because of a java hiccup with the Windows Mobile 5 platform, you had an “authorize” pop-up every 2 seconds which was not only annoying, but impossible to get to a map. There’s an actual work around, which entails downloading another Java environment, etc. Which I was prepared to do this week finally.
BUT, voila! Google to the rescue! I did not need to create the work-around!!!!! They just released this month a version of GoogleMaps Mobile for Windows Mobile specifically for me! :-) “Yahooooooooo!” I screamed with joy. And as an added bonus, I was able to install it on my MicroSD card, not on the phone itself!!!!!
Why am I so happy? Here’s what Google themselves say I’ll love on the download page – and I agree:
- Detailed directions — Whether you plan to walk or drive, your route is displayed on the map itself, together with highlighted step-by-step directions. You just have to “page” to the next step when you get there. If you’re lazy, you already have GPS in your car. If not, just tap “next step” and the map automatically centers/updates to the next turn/step/exit/etc.
- Easily movable maps — Interactive maps let you zoom in or out, and move in all directions so you can orient yourself visually. You can easily pan and follow your route as you go with the 4-way scroll button on the Blackjack and the screen auto-freshes.
- Real-time traffic — See where the congestion is, and estimate delays in over 30 major US metropolitan areas. Here’s an example — looks like the outbound-Lincoln Tunnel out of NYC is jammed right now (see it highlighted in RED?)
- Satellite imagery — Get a bird’s eye view of your desired location. This is great to find landmarks while you’re in an area that you’re not familiar with.
- Integrated search results — Local business locations and contact information appear all in one place, integrated on your map. Like search for the nearest “pizza” place or “post office” or “gas station” or….
- Easy Lookup From Contacts — Here’s someone thinking about the end-user experience. GoogleMaps is automatically an option whenever you’re looking at a contact with an address. Just click “MENU” and then “LOCATE IN GOOGLE MAPS” and it will auto-map that location!
EASIEST WAY TO INSTALL GOOGLE MAPS MOBILE ON THE SAMSUNG BLACKJACK
- ON YOUR BLACKJACK, go to your Internet Explorer web browser and nagivate to: http://www.Google.com/GMM
- It will auto-detect that you’re running Windows Mobile and offer you the download
- Download the application (for Windows Mobile 5 or higher if option is presented)
- Install it — either on your “device” or on the “storage card” (I choose my 1 GB MicroSD Card to keep my device’s space free)
- Now, to run it, just go to “START” and click “MORE” until you get to the list of applications with “Google Maps”
Notice the “DO NOT OPERATE WHILE DRIVING” warning…when else would you use it however? đź™‚
The ALTERNATIVE WAY TO INSTALL GOOGLE MAPS MOBILE is to download the file directly from http://www.google.com/gmm to your hard drive on your computer, and then move it to your device/card via ActiveSync for installation. However, that’s a little pain in the neck when you already have a browser built into the device….just my $0.02!
ENJOY! Have you tried this out? What’s your favorite part of Google Maps Mobile? I’ve also installed MS Live Maps, and wonder which one is better…I guess I’ll have to try both for awhile to find out.