My Location on the iPhone and other Updates

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 | 5:51 PM

Jerry Morrison, Software Engineer, Google mobile team

At Macworld today, version 1.1.3 of Apple's iPhone software was announced that includes updates to Google Maps for mobile and IMAP access to Gmail. You can get the updated software by syncing your iPhone with iTunes and agreeing to the update.

Once you get the latest version, Google Maps for mobile on the iPhone can provide you with automated location information, thanks in part to Google's My Location technology. Just push the button with a circle on it at the bottom left-hand side of the Google Maps for mobile application and you'll see a circle appear on the map approximating your current position. If you have an iPod Touch, you can now have access to Maps for the first time.

Also, the latest iPhone email application will now use IMAP to access your Gmail account rather than POP. IMAP is better than POP because your Gmail messages on your iPhone are better synchronized to your Gmail account.

As a developer for Google Maps for mobile, I had a good time watching Steve Jobs today demonstrate Maps on the iPhone at Macworld. It's a fun project to work on and it wows my friends and family, too. On Sunday I demo'd it on an iPhone to the FIRST Robotics high school team I mentor. The students seemed to be as inspired by what they saw as I am by their robot designs.

13 comments:

Chris Beiting said...

Just wondering.. these new iPhone features are awesome, just wondering... will you all offer the ability to have these with the custom domains?

lukte musik said...

If you already set up your iPhone for Gmail MAP, does the new native IMAP settings for the iPhone's Gmail provide any new benefits? (Should I delete my account on my phone to reinstall it through the Gmail button?)

Sounds cool to have your work showcased on such a huge level.

lfclad said...

imagine how inspired the students would have been if they had seen this done on an N95 with 3G speed (must have taken forever for the maps to load over GPRS). even more facinated with the actual GPS and navigation on the N95 not to mention all the other stuff. when will everyone get over the iPhone hype? Google, you should be building more apps for the majority, not the couple of people who have an iPhone in the US, which is probably less than 2% of the global phone market.

9gel said...

ifclad,

Google does make a maps app for the N95 and it works really well. I use it in my vacation recently and it is fantastic. When I'm indoors it uses triangulation, and when I'm outdoors it uses the GPS for better accuracy. Maps loads exceedingly fast.

Nigel.

Pit said...

Maps for mobile works well on my N95. I'm wondering if Google will develop an API so that I can take my own Googlemap-Markers with me ?

uBAD! said...

Its true ....google HAS been focusing its development of mobile applications too much on the Iphone ...maybe it might turn out to be the next big thing but that certianly doesnt mean to ignore all the rest of platforms like symbian,java,windows mobile etc
for eg: mobile applications like picasa and powerpoint feature of google docs mobile are only available for Iphone while calendar and synchronize are only available for blackberry.

Also about the mylocation feature i would like to know when will it be available to other countries...?

lo_ol said...

Who cares about iPhone? Get a real phone, Nokia with Symbian!

When will google stop playing around with toys like iPhone and focus on real business phones?

Still waiting for a Calendar sync tool to use on my Nokia E51.

lfclad said...

9gel,

i know google does the maps for the N95, i've tried it. why would i bother with an internet app when nokia maps are built into the phone and use gps? if i had a phone without gps, then yes that would be good (unless i was out of network), but when i tried it without using built in gps, accuracy was 1,700 metres! the iphone is a toy and we should move on a build things for market leading phones.

Regina said...

Will the Iphone or Itouch ever have Gchat? I love being able to access my Gmail but WOW, if I were able to Gchat, that'd be a miracle...

Martin said...

All I have to say is: Thank you very very much for the IMAP support, now what about contact and calendar sync with the iPhone, or at least a contact API so someone else can do it???

Ralph G said...

The coercive influence of AT&T may kill Google Chat on the iPhone.

AT&T, as a policy, has always been more concerned with wresting that last measure of profit from it's customers rather than providing great products and services.

Since IM on the iPhone may impact how much AT&T can suck from it's customer base in the form of text messaging charges and overages, the telecom giant will fight to keep Google Chat off the iPhone.

Here's to hoping that both Google and Apple can resist AT&T myopic and exploitative greed, but don't hold your breath.

Bret said...

Somebody just figured out how to implement locations on GSM Palm OS Treos. (see treocentral.com) How about that! Perhaps Google could do it directly???

jjersin said...

I think Google is right to concentrate on the iPhone for now. Apple has done a great job on marketing, and they have reformed the role of the phone in the mind of users. I'm sure, however, that the competition will heat up soon. This is just the tip of the iceberg for mobile and location. For the next wave of location based apps check out zintin.com.