Navigate New York City with Google Maps for mobile

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 | 8:00 AM

New York City Mayor Bloomberg just announced on the Official Google Blog that the city has partnered with Google to create and a brand new Official NYC Information Center, located at 810 7th Avenue. On the mobile team, we're particularly excited by how New York City is helping visitors navigate the city by integrating Google Maps for mobile into the experience.

It's easy to plan a trip at home and then use your phone to navigate the city. You can browse to find a hotel, restaurants, and things to do in New York. Most web pages embed Google Maps, and using a nifty "send to phone" feature, you can send locations to your phone via text message. Later on, when you're out and about in the city, click the link in the text message to view a map, get directions, and see Street View. Don't forget that you can now get New York City subway routes on your iPhone, BlackBerry, or other smartphone!

Check out the video below to see how things work:

Next time you're out and about in New York City, use Google Maps for mobile to search for places and get directions. If you don't already have Google Maps on your phone, download it by visiting on your cell phone's browser.

Recap of Macworld 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009 | 5:30 PM

Last week the Google Mobile team joined Googlers from the Geo, YouTube and Mac teams at the 2009 Macworld Expo at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. This year, the Google booth featured fun giveaways, a YouTube upload booth, an Earth Surfer, and an iPhone charging station. Check out some pictures from the Google booth:

Along with demoing mobile products for the iPhone and iPod touch, we also shared the secret behind the hidden options in the Google Mobile App. If you didn't get a chance to stop by the booth at Macworld and haven't discovered the secret, you can get some hints from bloggers, tech sites, or vloggers.

We hope you enjoy the Bells and Whistles! Also, we wanted to give a big thanks to our users and the Mac Observer which gave the Google Mobile App the 2009 Editor's Choice Award!

Getting directions to businesses now easier on Google Maps for mobile

Wednesday, January 7, 2009 | 7:08 AM

One of my favorite things about Google Maps for mobile is finding businesses on the go. Today we launched a server-side change that makes it easier to get directions to businesses. You can now get directions to restaurants, stores, and other points of interest by entering their names in the start or end point. Consider this example:

Until today, if you tried to get directions and entered a business name, "starbucks" for example, as the end or start point, Google Maps for mobile did not understand that you meant Starbucks the business. Rather, Google Maps for mobile would search for an address with "starbucks" in it.

Google Maps for mobile now recognizes when your end or start point is a business and not an address. Try setting "starbucks" or "mcdonald's" as an end point when getting directions, and you'll quickly see what we mean.

If you've already got Google Maps on your BlackBerry, Nokia S60, T-Mobile G1, iPhone, or other smartphone, then you don't have to download anything to start using this new feature. This is because today's launch was made on our servers, not the Google Maps for mobile client.

But if you don't already have Google Maps for mobile, visit on your phone to download it today.

Posted by Constantinos Michael, Software Engineer

Ring in the New Year with Bells and Whistles

Thursday, January 1, 2009 | 9:00 AM

Happy New Year!

One evening in Zurich, after a late night cake run, we decided that our iPhone app, Google Mobile App with Voice Search, could do with a little bling. The result of this is a few extra options hidden below the preferences on the Settings tab. Trust us, they're down there... it just might take some perseverance to get to the bottom of things. Just keep trying!

Does blue not go with your new belt? Use the Theme Color to style the app to work with any outfit or match the holiday season.

Tired of the standard beeps and boops during speech recognition? You can try out some alternate sounds made by our teammates in their sugar-induced stupor.

There are a couple of other options hidden in there, too. We had (a little too much) fun implementing these features and hope you enjoy them!

And don't worry. If you don't find them, just come see us at Macworld and we'll show you.