September 17, 2008 |
There’s an interesting announcement today by Google Mobile team – Google Maps street view is now available on mobile phones. This announcement definitely presents a whole range of new capabilities to users, like helping people find the right location with the directions based on actual buildings and landmarks along the streets.
Google maps when viewed on a mobile device will provide the same level of imagery that you get on your desktop – but this time you can access it anywhere you need it when you are on the go. And since it is actually on the go when you most need maps and driving or walking directions, there’s no doubt that it is an important announcement.
What this new functionality is supposed to do basically is to help you never to get lost again by providing all the information you may need: finding a local business close to you, looking its location up and actually seeing some familiar landmarks around the location to easier understand where it is and even getting walking directions to easier reach the place you need.
Right now the new version of Google Maps for mobile with street view and walking directions is available for BlackBerry and various Java-enabled handhelds with promised support for further platforms. But it is no surprise that users are already demanding support for Google Maps application for the iPhone – but Google does not look like willing to provide this pretty nifty functionality to iPhone users (probably getting ready to the release of the first Android phone).
And same as for the desktop version this new functionality only makes sense when you live or travel in one of the countries where Google has imagery for street view – US (obviously), Australia, Japan, and France currently.
And since it is pretty difficult (and pointless) to explain street view with words, here is the video – creative and humorous as usually- in which the team describes the possible use cases for street view and walking directions that are now available on your cell phone: