At the Hadrian Hotel

At the Hadrian Hotel

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Google Local and Talk for the Blackberry

On the Google Blog today the announced: Google Talkabout: YT?...Google Talk for BlackBerry which, unfortunately, won't really be available until the spring, according to the press release on the RIM site. What I did find out about there, but hadn't heard about before, was the availability of Google Local for the Blackberry. Just browse over to from your Blackberry and download it.

I had a little time to play around with this, and I'm impressed. Even with the relatively low rate data connection I get from Cingular, the maps loaded, panned, and zoomed at a pretty reasonable speed. However, while it's a cool that you can switch to the satellite view, don't bother unless you feel like waiting (and waiting, and waiting...).

The program starts up with the pointer in the middle of a US map. Click on the wheel to bring up a menu. From here, you can search for a location, get directions, move the map to one of your recently visited places, clear the map, or learn how to pan and zoom. As for the latter 2 items, the clickwheel can be used to pan up and down, and if you hold down the "moon" key, the wheel will pan left and right as well. For the clickwheel-impaired, "u" and "j" move you up and down, and "h" and "k" go left and right. Oh, and you use "i" to zoom in and (you guessed it) "o" to zoom out.

Search strings are the same as for the Google Local web site (as you would expect), but you use numeric keys to bring the various hits to the front. Fortunately, you don't need to use the moon key to get the numbers - the app is smart enough to know that "w" is 1, "e" is 2, etc. I'll need to play around with this a bit more to see if there are any shortcut keys available (or I could always read the help screen).

All-in-all, this looks like a nice little application, especially when you need that pizza fix when you're on the road.

Technorati Tags: , ,

No comments: