Friday, October 12, 2007

Mobile platform-specific Google Maps!!

Wow.. finally Google Maps specifically created for S60 Symbian platform.

Here are some screenshots of the new Google Maps installed on my Nokia E61 :).

By the way, I found this review at All About Symbian about the new Google Maps very useful.

I knew this would eventually happen. This is what I was suggesting to Schrep in my comments to his post. I was mentioning about my thoughts on how Firefox for mobile phones should follow a strategy where first they come up with a Java based firefox so that they can capture the mass market and then they followup with a platform specific firefox application which gives a better performance.

Now, Google did just that. They first came up with a java-based Google Maps. This ensured that most of the phones start using Google Maps (capture the mass market). Now they've come up with a platform-specific Google Map which is available for Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Symbian and Blackberry, which gives a better performance and also utilize phone-specific features. For example, the new Google Map uses the phones' GPS if that's available. So if you install the new Google Maps on your Nokia N95, then it will automatically use the inbuilt GPS to show your location on the map.

For those who are not familiar with mobile applications.. what this means is that the previously available Google Map application (software) for the mobile phones was written (developed) using Java. Which means any Java enabled phone was install and use Google Maps on their phone. So you must be asking whats the big deal about Google Maps now?!!

Well, any Java-based application runs on top of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) which in turn runs on top of the mobile OS (platform). Which means there will be a comparable difference in performance between a Java-based application and a platform-specific application. Obviously, platform-specific applications are must faster. Also, developing mobile applications using the platform specific APIs (Application Programming Interface) will let us utilize any in-built phone features like GPS (as I've mentioned above).

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