Friday, August 22, 2008 | 12:24 AM
Imagine if web sites could provide you with customized information based on your current location, even if you don't have GPS. Today we're launching the Gears Geolocation API for mobile and desktop browsers, while two third-party developers are launching the first location-enabled web apps using this API on Windows Mobile.
One of the most popular travel sites in the Europe, lastminute.com, has now location-enabled their new mobile restaurant finder to help you find restaurants near you without requiring you to type in where you are. If you're in the UK, just go to fonefood at m.lastminute.com, click the "Find your location" link on the home page, select the type of restaurant you want, and lastminute.com will automatically work out which neighbourhood and city you are in and find matching restaurants. This is great for both UK residents and the millions of tourists who visit each year.
Rummble is a new social discovery tool where you can recommend places to visit and see personalised recommendations from friends. Just go to m.rummble.com and click on the "Update location with Gears" link on the home page to see the "Rummbles" near you.
These two apps make use of the Gears Geolocation API. The API can determine your location using nearby cell-towers or GPS for your mobile device or your computer's IP address for your laptop. Google provides this service for free to both developers and users.
Gears is available on IE Mobile on mobile and Internet Explorer and Firefox on desktop. To use the location-enabled lastminute.com and Rummble web apps you will need a Windows Mobile device that supports GPS or cell-id lookup (for example the Samsung Blackjack II and HTC Touch Dual, see supported devices FAQ). We are working hard to bring Gears to more mobile platforms, such as Android and others.
If you are in the UK and have a supported Windows Mobile device visit m.lastminute.com and m.rummble.com today. The first time you use the location feature you will be prompted to download and install Gears.