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Google Maps On My Treo: Completely Hooked

As Palm introduced the Treo 680 last week (see my post Treo 680: Finally A Treo For Everyone) it also simultaneously announced marketing partnerships with Google, Yahoo!, ebay and TypePad – each of whom have or will be releasing one or more Treo-specific applications in the coming weeks.

I will start today by reviewing the new Google Maps that has been optimized for our Treo and which I have found to be absolutely amazingGoogle Maps for Treo can be downloaded as a PRC file, sent to your Treo via SMS or simply by pointing your Blazer browser to www.google.com/gmm

Once installed Google Maps will initially open to a default San Francisco map (above right) and in my case I simply clicked on Menu > Find Nearby Business typing “aventura fl” to bring up my current location (below right).  [Please note that Google Maps does NOT use any GPS technology to figure out where you are.]

With my ‘home’ location set I next wanted to (as an example) find tobacco shops nearby.  This brought up 9 results in the area (below right).  [Note: Google Maps provides a maximum of 9 search results which should be plenty in most instances.]

You can quickly navigate from result #1 to #9 by a) either pressing the “Next/Previous” arrows at the bottom right of the screen; b) pressing any number from 1 to 9 on the keypad or c) hitting the Return key.  Additionally, each search result can be tapped for additional options and information which include 1) the full address and telephone number of the business (thus also making Google Maps an effective free directory search tool); 2) the option to set this business as the start or end address for Directions and 3) call the business at the push of a button.  Unfortunately there is not yet an option to “Save To Contacts” but hopefully this may happen in the future.

Having set my “From” and “To” locations for Google Map’s “Directions” I clicked “OK”, was presented with a Route Summary with the travel distance (but no estimated time).

After the Route Summary you are presented with the maps for your Directions with a green diamond as your starting point, yellow diamonds for turns (with full instructions) and finally a red diamond for your final destination.  Right now the most annoying thing is that you can’t save either your locations or destinations but I believe that Google will add this in a future update.

A phenomenal feature of Google Maps (particularly on the large, crisp and high resolution screen of your PalmOS Treo) is the ability to quickly switch from Map to Satellite View below.  Furthermore, using either the side volume buttons, the letters “I” (In) or “O” (Out) or alternatively one of the magnifying glasses at the bottom right of the screen you can zoom in to an astonishing level of detail.

Additionally, you can Hide or Show Traffic (for major roads below left) on Google Maps with the colours on the highway or road indicating:

  • Green: more than 50 miles per hour
  • Yellow: 25 - 50 miles per hour
  • Red: less than 25 miles per hour
  • Gray: no data available

Finally, if you have a complete or partial address that you would like to find you can select Find Location in the menu to bring that destination up.  Above right I simply typed “1685 collins avenue, miami, fl” to get my map.

Google Maps is one of the most terrific mapping applications that I have seen in general and for the Treo in particular – it’s also one that further helps to highlight many of the benefits of being a Treonaut.  Naturally it has now been added to my list of Top 100 Treo Software.

Treonauts are always hooked on something amazing

Posted by Andrew on October 20, 2006 at 04:02 PM

Treo Software | Mapping

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by JonW. | Oct 20, 2006 4:12:33 PM

Only for the Palm OS? Bummer!!

by mstein | Oct 20, 2006 5:48:47 PM


Jumped on this when it was launched. I really wish K-Maps had kept up the pace.

As usual with Google their apps are clean, well designed and do exactly what they say on the tin.

Now to find a way to get the E911 GPS data inside the phone to Google Maps.. :)

by Eric W | Oct 20, 2006 6:05:35 PM

This is a fantastic app! I've been using it since a day after it was released. It's the next best thing to having GPS. I'm in sales and use it every day.

Now if only Iambic would add Google Maps support within Agendus....

Eric in Denver

by Patrick | Oct 20, 2006 6:31:27 PM

I'm hoping for GPS connectivity. I use Google SMS to find sites that I then navigate to in TomTom. This interface is so clean if they just had a hook to the serial GPS interface it would eliminate the need for TomTom (and the $200 price tag). Google has GPS connectivity experience (my Google Earth Plus has it built in), so it doesn't seem far-fetched!

Here's hoping Google rules the world someday...

by Kevin | Oct 20, 2006 7:58:47 PM

Absolutely amazing.

I'm pressuring my family to move to Sprint, where I will pick up a 700p, and this will be the first app I load on it.

by Joshua Ochs | Oct 20, 2006 8:28:35 PM

Travelled to Memphis for the weekend right after this was released, and it guided me all around town. Absolutely essential. The way it caches map data (so you can scroll back and forth along a route, for instance) is fast and very well done. I'm buying a Treo for my wife solely based on Google Maps!

A few nits to pick:
1) You really should be able to select an address from your address book as a starting or destination address
2) There seems to be no way to manage or otherwise clear out old addresses and cached map data
3) Integration with GPS seems to be the next logical step. Either with third-party GPS, or will we see a GPS-enabled Treo?

by Kevin | Oct 21, 2006 10:19:17 AM

"2) There seems to be no way to manage or otherwise clear out old addresses and cached map data"

Since I don't have the program, what is the "Erase All" option under the Options menu? Could that clear the cache?

by Dean | Oct 21, 2006 11:01:08 PM

This is a must have. The day I found out about it, I have used just about everyday. Just simply cruising into the office, I check out the current travel conditions and very accurate as well.

Kevin, you are right. I just hit the erase all and it brought up a warning screen that everything would be erased- cookies, history of terms, preferences,map & satellite image cache. Cool. Good observation!!

by Duane Aubin | Oct 21, 2006 11:39:43 PM

Yep, I started researching GPS offerings and couldn't get my head around the $200 price tag...

Then I found Google Maps. <500KB installed. Google clarity, Google quality, A-B directions. All for "free" (data plan will be essential from your carrier).

Google Maps has everything except a voice saying "in 200m, turn right." Which would be nice, but not for $200.

by Drbuzzo | Oct 22, 2006 1:39:33 AM

Its a great start, however it is missing a few features (which I am told will be added shortly). Some of the vital ones are the ability to bookmark places and better support for KML files (right now you have to type in the web address of where the KML file lives into the search function or type in file:\\....)

Of course, GPS support would be awesome too... well..I can think of a lot of potential things you culd do with this!

by Mark Rosengarten | Oct 22, 2006 9:41:40 AM

This is a great application...if it could support geocaching KML's and had Bluetooth GPS support, it would be my prime geocaching tool. Nice piece of work!!!

by christian | Oct 22, 2006 2:12:09 PM

...I think the only feature I'd really like to have is the ability to set your default location. I just moved to a new city, and I'd like to have my home address as a default "from" field if possible.
Other than that, I'm glad to see Google finally going mobile w/ their maps - seems faster than KMaps from what I can tell.

by Jeff | Oct 22, 2006 9:00:18 PM

I installed it the very first day it was released and like everyone else I think it is a wonderful app. One very big problem though, everytime I use Google Maps, I lose my data connection. Last week I was going to Jury duty and I was getting a map to the court and their parking garage for jurors, everything worked well and the morning traffic it displayed was accurate. While sitting in Jury pool, I could not retrieve my emails or search any web pages in Blazer. I had no data connection. I called Cingular and they did an OTA reset. Everything worked well again until I used google maps again. I used it three more times in different locations and each time I lost my data connection afterward. I had to reset my phone, removed my SIM and wait 5 minutes each time to reset the data connection. This never happened before Google Maps. Something is screwy.

by Joe | Oct 23, 2006 8:17:49 AM

Once again a note at the top of the article stating that this was a Palm based apps would be nice. I think these software people are unaware of the untapped resourses of the Windows based Treo market.

by Duane Aubin | Oct 23, 2006 2:33:13 PM

Coupla notes...

There are no doubt a number of things we wish this app could do, but I keep being reminded "hey, what do you want for $0?"

Once we start loading up on features, we're going to have to pay for it. Which is fine, but would competitors cry foul that their cash cow was out of milk because Farmer Google set up shop? (would anyone buy a full-blown GPS system for hundreds of dollars if Google boned up on a few more features and charged $29.95?)

Another thing - regarding operating system. Yes, it can be difficult, at times, to remember to accommodate non-Palm Treo users. But, to be fair, Treo was exclusively Palm country for most of its model life, and only relatively recently has had to move over and make room for PocketPC.

If I were a PocketPC user (which, I am not) I'd take the OS oversights with a grain of salt and actually go ahead and assume that the articles will tend to be Palm-oriented unless clearly noted otherwise.

I'm sure we'd find things exactly the same but the opposite if HP started shipping Palm OS PDAs on one of their user sites.

by TXer | Oct 23, 2006 10:55:29 PM

Awesome application! I love the satellite maps too. Interesting to just surf around the maps and zoom in on my house. I must have spent an hour just looking around my neighborhood...but, to tell you the truth I was using my palm T/X with wifi (lighting fast). Don't want to waste time on the slow phone, don't you know.

Why or why can't the new palm treos have wifi capabilities?!?

by AndrewC | Oct 24, 2006 9:01:56 PM

I have to say that, given that this is fre, this as an amazin application. I, like others here, installed it on day one and have used it every day since. An all round great little appl

Would it be good to have GPS connectivity? Yes, but I'm sure it's on its way.

Keep up the good work.



by Louie | Oct 25, 2006 10:53:31 PM

One question to all, I have been having problems with my Google Maps. It tells me I have not connectivity. I tried a few times and I gave up. I tried again later and told me that my phone had to be reset in order for Google Maps to work. Is this an issue with my phone only? If not, is there an update to fix this issue. Thanks

New to the Treo World

by Louie | Oct 25, 2006 11:00:37 PM

Sorry, forgot to mention that I had been using Google Maps on my 700p the night before. GREAT and AWESOME tool for the price! haha. So, help anyone?

by Eric Moritz | Nov 1, 2006 7:55:50 PM

Ah, Don Cruz Cigars! When I lived in Hollywood, I'd buy cloves from him all the time. The guy working there is quite a character. Classic New York Italian fellow that you probably shouldn't cross or you'll get your knees broken!

by James Carpenter | Nov 3, 2006 9:13:17 PM

Just down loaded Google Maps to my SD card. When I try to open it I get this message: "The Application cannot be launched because of a system error." I am using a treo 650 phone. Can any one help me?


by celina | Jan 5, 2007 1:17:41 PM

I loaded google maps onto an sd card in my treo 650 (cingular service tho the phone is unlocked). But when I try to launch it I get a message saying that "you must have 3MB of storage available to run Google Maps". Note: I have 967 MB free on the card, and and 3.2M of free space on the phone. Really want to be able to use google maps on What do I do to solve this?

by poster | Jan 11, 2007 11:51:20 PM

Just navigate your way to google.com/gmm or something and type in google maps...load it right onto your phone :)

by edwin barrera | May 30, 2007 10:48:25 PM

megustaria que todo estuviera en espa;ol gracias

by Billy | Jun 13, 2007 10:12:44 AM

Does anyone now if you can use a gps reciever to show your location with Google mapping? I recently bought the sd502 and would love to track my location.. Thanks

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