Saturday, May 8, 2010

Google Maps - Search by Voice

Sorry for the long gap between posts. A lot going on and I haven't had time to post something new. I'll try to be better.

As most of you know... I heart Google. Even if their stock is tanking right now. Google Maps for Mobile has become a staple on my mobile phone and I rely on it a lot when I'm out (especially in DC). What makes Google such an outstanding services company is that they are constantly innovating and adding features to their products. GPS, Google Buzz and other technical enhancements have made Google Maps for Mobile a more polished product.

The latest Maps innovation is "Search by Voice" which is now available on my terrible Windows phone. Once Mobile Maps is launched on your phone, you are now able to press the talk button and simply say the location you want to search for. I just tried it for the first time today and spoke my home address. Google recognized it immediately and quickly returned the proper search result. This enhancement will undoubtedly come in handy while driving. I have risked life and limb a couple of times by typing on my phone while driving (at slow speeds of course... lest you think I'm some sort of daredevil) to make Google aware of where I want to go. Now I just have to speak my destination. Time will tell if the voice recognition software will understand naming complexities, but I'm betting the Google nerds did their homework on this one.

Features like this make me think I've bought my last pure GPS Navigation System. Garmin, Tom Tom and other turn-by-turn standalone navigation companies are going to lose market share over time to Google Maps. It's free, works right on your phone and is constantly being tweaked and improved by Google engineers. I think I'll probably just buy a car mount for my next phone (hopefully an Android phone) and use phone navigation to get me places.

Does anyone out there already use their phone primarily for navigation purposes?

(Get ready for the much anticipated Iron Man 2 review tomorrow)

2 comments:

Preston said...

I would have been more impressed if they had turn by turn voice directions.

Sarah Thomas said...

Yeah I know about some good Phone Car Holder. they are less costly and compatible for all smartphones.