Wednesday, March 12, 2008 | 7:40 AM
I've heard it said that user interfaces are measured in "hurts." Here at Google we like things to be as painless as possible. That's why we're happy to share a little-known feature of many phones that allows you to launch your favorite app (hopefully Google Maps!) with the press of a button.
Buried in the settings menu of many phones is the option to configure "convenience keys" (or "sidekeys," or "shortcuts," depending on the device). Convenience keys let you configure a physical key, usually on the side of your phone, to instantly launch whatever application you choose. For instance, here are some instructions for how to configure a BlackBerry, Blackjack, and Nokia N95 for one-click access to Google Maps for mobile:
BlackBerry 8800: Go to Options->Screen/Keyboard->Convenience Key -> select 'Google Maps'
Samsung BlackJack: Select 'Settings' icon ->More ->Key settings ->Side key settings ->Select 'Google Maps'
Nokia N95: Press the 'Menu' button ->Tools ->Settings ->Personalization ->Standby mode ->Shortcuts ->Left/Right selection key -> Select 'Google Maps'
In the video below Steve Lee and I show you how to set up these quick access keys. Be sure to catch our death-defying duel at the end of the video, where one of us bites the dust while the other hurls obscure movie references.
Finally, if you use shortcut keys on other phones please submit a comment below so that others can give them a try.