Monday, February 12, 2007

Google Maps on Windows Mobile

I had a chance to play with a Palm Treo 750 running Windows Mobile 5 (Thanks LT!). It supports Bluetooth so you can connect it to a GPS receiver (no, the Treo does not include one).

After installing Google Maps for Mobile you need to establish a partnership through Bluetooth with the GPS receiver, it should list Serial Port under the available services. Determine which COM port will be used by the receiver.

Now under System | Settings | GPS select the same COM port under Hardware. Notice that there is a different COM port selection that you need to make for applications under GPS | Programs. The idea is to use a different COM port than the one the receiver is connected to.

GMM installation is pretty straight forward: just transfer the .cab file through either ActiveSync, a SD card, or maybe Bluetooth and run it.

To use it you will obviously need to be connected to the Net in some form, thru Cingular you can use GPRS/Edge and Google Maps will let you know how much data is being transferred each time you hit a button.

The UI isn't much different than what is already available for other phones with the main difference being the support for GPS data. Just select the Tracking GPS Location from the menu and see it connecting to your receiver.

Don't worry about setting the COM port for GMM itself, you already set it up earlier on.

If you have a good fix you should get maps for the corresponding area you are in. Select View | Satellite to switch view (no hybrid available). A little blinking green circle will point to your current location in the map if you have a good fix from the GPS receiver.

Search for pizza, gas or anything else and you will get the little icons with corresponding names and addresses. You can also search for locations.

Check traffic conditions for areas where this data is available. Green lines show that things are running freely at that time.

All in all, perfect app with the perfect price. And GPS support just makes it even better.

If you got a SmartPhone running Windows Mobile 5 go get the .CAB file and check GpsPassion Forum. Also available for Palm.

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