Updated Google Maps For Palm Can Find Itself
One of the most intriguing new features in mobile-phone software is finally coming to Palm OS smartphones... make that, very few Palm OS smartphones. Six months after its debut on Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Java-based and Symbian phones, a Palm version of Google Maps for Mobile's "location-aware" update arrived today.
This update eliminates the biggest annoyance of using map software on a phone: Telling it where you are when the phone should already know that. Instead, Google's software employs a phone's GPS receiver or analyzes nearby cellular towers' signals to estimate your position. (A software update for Apple's iPhone added the latter option to that gadget in January; the upcoming iPhone 3G will add a GPS-based self-locating feature.)
But almost nobody with a Palm OS smartphone can enjoy this new software at the moment. As Google notes in a blog posting, only Palm Centro phones can run this update, and among them only AT&T and Verizon Wireless Centros are compatible today. Sprint Centros -- which, by virtue of having been on the market since last fall, constitute the overwhelming majority of these devices in use -- won't be able to run it until a "software update expected this summer" ships.
That quirk makes the whole announcement a touch anti-climactic. But given the sorry state of Palm OS software development in general, you might as well applaud any sign of life in the Palm business.
Not having an AT&T or Verizon Centro to test, I can't say how well this software works. Can you? Share your experience in the comments.
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