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Monday, November 7, 2005

Google Local for Mobile

Google Local is now available for cell phones, like the Nokia 6600 and others. You can point your cell phone to According to Google, this free service combines “directions, maps, and satellite imagery” and works “with most Java-enabled (J2ME) mobile phones, especially those purchased within the past year.”

On my Nokia 6600, the installation worked smoothly and I was ready to see US maps. The program had its quirks though; after being presented with the initial map and opening the search dialog, I wasn’t able to get any result for [pizza new york ny] even though this works on Google’s Local service on the web. The suggested sample query [pizza in sf] did work on the phone, though. Also, every few seconds I had to approve that I allow Google to use my phone connection, and I couldn’t see any options dialog to turn this off. If you miss this confirmation popup and keep scrolling, the program will close automatically and show a warning. Note there’s a good chance many of these problems disappear on other phones, and are specific to Nokia 6600.

One nice feature is that when you move your phone cursor over an item (a specific location marker), and you open it, there will be a “Call” link. (This didn’t work when I clicked it, but admittedly I didn’t want to call that San Francisco pizza parlor anyway).

Other than that, I’m waiting for detailed European maps to check if this program is really useful to me. Searching for [Stuttgart, Germany], I get a tiled background reading “No data. Please zoom out.”


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