updated 01:00 pm EST, Wed November 28, 2007
Google My Location
Google today upgraded its mobile Maps program with a feature dubbed My Location, a feature that helps pinpoint the whereabouts of a cellphone without demanding a potentially expensive GPS receiver. Similar to assisted GPS, the utility calculates the rough position of the user based on their distance from cellular towers. The feature is usually accurate to within several meters and can even supplement devices which already have GPS, providing a location fix when buildings block satellite reception or consuming less power when a precise fix is less necessary.
My Location is currently in an open beta and does not work with all devices, though most any BlackBerry, Symbian Series 60, or Windows Mobile smartphone can upgrade to the test version of Google Maps. Some Motorola and Sony-Ericsson phones that support mobile Java apps also work, Google says.
Notably, the feature opens the possibility of location-finding on the iPhone, which has lacked both true GPS and assisted GPS to date. The touchscreen phone's version of Maps was co-developed by Apple and Google and so shares code from both companies.