Treo Google Maps Update Now With Contacts Integration
Let me start by saying that if you don’t already have Google Maps (see my review) installed on your Treo you should do so without hesitation at the soonest – it is without a doubt one of the top, most useful and fun freeware applications for your smartphone.
If like me you have already been using Google Maps for a while then you’ll want to ensure that you now update it with the latest version 184.108.40.206 released a few days ago which implements 80% of the feature requests that Treonauts had made in my original review and can be downloaded online or installed directly from your Treo web browser at www.google.com/gmm/treo (for faster access you can also simply use this direct download link www.google.com/gmm/GoogleMaps.prc )
The new Google Maps (image above right) offers faster operation and a shorter startup time as well as five dedicated on-screen buttons (located at the top right corner of the screen) for direct access to location search, business search, directions, real-time traffic info and satellite view. Having said this, both the location and size of these buttons are better suited to stylus than thumb operation…
However, the best improvement by far to Google Maps can now be found in the fact that it has finally been integrated with your Contacts so that you can quickly find the exact location/get directions to any personal or business address already stored on your Treo without the need to re-type the information. A new button at the bottom right corner of the screen opens the Menu for “Contact Lookup” and selecting it opens your Contacts list with their address which you can then quickly add with one click to Google Maps.
I just love the way that the Google Maps team seem to listen and respond to Treonauts’ requests such as in this case by also having added a “Save as Contact” option for any Business search. In this instance above, I searched for my nearest Starbucks. The result screen allows me to call the location at the press of one simple “Call” button but the “To” and “From” buttons originally found in v1.0 have been removed and can only be accessed via the Menu now.
Finally, another minor change is found in the Menu which now lists “Show Traffic” (instead of “Show or Hide Traffic”), “View Satellite” (instead of “Map <-> Satellite View”) and also “Reset Google Maps” (instead of “Erase All”). Additionally, there is also now an automatic traffic data refresh every 60 seconds (when “Show Traffic” is enabled).
A few things that Google Maps does unfortunately not _yet_ do is combine the E911 GPS data inside your Treo to provide you with an exact location of where you are or offer the connectivity to be used as GPS Navigation Software with an external GPS receiver. Additionally, there is still no bookmarking feature or default “home” location(s) for directions. However, given the fact that Google Maps continues to improve regularly I have no doubt that we will see this at some point in the future.
Treonauts are always ahead of the future…