Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Forrester: Review of Google Local for Mobile

Charles Golvin at Forrester puts in a guest appearance at the blog of his colleague Charlene Li to review Google Local for Mobile (GLM).

Golvin played with the app on three different phones — a Motorola ROKR, a Nokia 7610, and a Samsung SPH-A940, only the first of which is listed as supported by Google. He found the best features by far "were the automatic click-to-dial associated with any search result, and the driving directions. Each step in the directions is rendered on the map as a text box pointing on the map to your point along your journey, you press the ‘3’ key to advance to the next step and ‘1’ for the previous."

Golvin thought the satellite imagery served "no useful purpose on such low resolution displays." I personally wouldn't know since it wasn't supported on my Audiovox SMT-5600. Golvin concludes that:

While the carriers may bemoan the fact that Google is taking traffic from their own yellow pages and directory information services, in truth this is a very good thing for them. The familiar Google interface as a simple extension of the desktop experience will drive users to consume more data on their phones, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean revenue for carriers like Sprint who price data flat, it means that consumers are shifting their behavior from voice to voice and data -- which is the most significant impediment to the adoption of other data services today.
I tend to agree. In my tests, the only thing holding me back was typing addresses on my phone's dial pad and the speed of my GPRS service. Just like I rely on various Google services from my PC, I can definitely see myself using this frequently with a smartphone that has a keyboard and high-speed data. Gotta save up now for that HTC Apache or Tornado or....