Monday, November 07, 2005

Google Goes Mobile with Local Service

Top Tech News reports on Google's beta launch of Google Local for mobile, a free JAVA app download that gives users the ability to locate addresses or businesses in the U.S. from a mobile phone.

The app offers "several features that are mobile-phone specific, like a click-to-call capability. It also provides small interactive maps that let users zoom in or out of a specific location, as well as satellite imagery that can provide a bird's eye view of a site."

Yankee Group analyst Linda Barrabee noted that "Google has been aggressive in the wireless space," citing the "company's SMS-based search capabilities that use text messaging for getting driving directions and finding business locations."

Barrabee said, "For customers who like Google, and want access on their phones to the same applications offered on the PC, such as Local, this could be popular. In the wireless environment, local information is critical."

Barrabee added. "Most carriers want their users to stay on the company's home page, yet this could drive usage of data services. The bottom line, though, is how Google makes people aware of this application."

Barrabee suggested that Google "needed to extend the service to additional devices and platforms, such as BREW, Palm, and BlackBerry."

I had a chance to play with it today and it is a cool little app. Very easy to set up as I had Google text me the link for downloading. I can definitely see myself using it when I'm out and about and need to find somewhere to eat or something...