What a tease! Google has brought out some cool, new technology and it doesn’t work for me!
Here’s what I’m talking about.
Google has replicated many of its full sized web applications for the tiny screens on ‘smart’ cellphones. One of the coolest ported applications is Google Maps. I’ve actually used this more than once.
It’s just as full featured as the Google maps you see on line – just smaller. As you scroll the map, new panels are downloaded off the Internet. It’s ingenious. And, just like Google Maps online, you can have it route a trip.
It’s possible to ‘mate’ this app with a Bluetooth GPS receiver (and wouldn’t I be King Nerd to do that) and have it position the maps and move them across your screen, keeping pace as you drive. I’ve seen some of these pocket sized GPS receivers advertised for under $30.
Of course that’s not enough for Google! They’ve taken it one step further. They’ve figured out a way to have this map program find its way without a GPS receiver. Neat trick.
Since the maps are running in a cell phone, Google looks at which cell towers are being received, figures out where they are and triangulates!
It’s not as accurate as satellite based GPS, but it’s not too bad. You can be located within a few blocks. With the maps on your screen, a few blocks is close enough… or it should be.
As I said, there’s an unfortunate problem. It doesn’t work with my phone!
I’m not 100% sure, but I think it’s because my Samsung Blackjack uses a strange version of Java which is problematic in many cases. It’s a ‘me’ problem, not a Google problem.
Is there a workaround? Probably. I’ll be looking for it.
Meanwhile, I’m impressed by Google… and more than a little bit envious.