Google has released version 2.0 of Google Maps for mobile, which will use cell tower identification information to locate mobile users. The new ‘My Location’ feature offers mapping and navigation facilities that will work on mobile phones without GPS capabilities and complement the phones that are GPS-enabled.
According to the company, My Location will enable users to find their approximate locations when they type the number ‘0’ on their phone. The feature will use data from nearby cellular phone towers to give the approximate location of the device and subsequently provide area map and direction. The users will not be required to key in addresses to locate places. The feature is currently in its beta version.
The company claims that this technology is faster than GPS technology, which can take several minutes to link to a satellite. Also, the company expects to increase the market share for its mobile search application since its own data shows that less than 15% of the mobile phone sold in 2007 support GPS.
The company said that the service is available on all color BlackBerry and Symbian Series 60 third edition phones, and most Windows Mobile devices. Newer Sony Ericsson handsets and some Motorola handsets will also support the feature.
Google Maps for mobile was first launched in the US in November 2005, which enables users to view interactive maps and satellite imagery, find local businesses, and get point-to-point driving directions.
Source: ComputerWire daily updates