Google Rolls Out Mobile Phone Locator
December 1, 2007 8:22 AM
comment(s) - last by
Every step you take, Google will be watching you
Cell phone GPS is no big deal in the tech industry -- it has been around for a while on
various "smart" cell phones
. Google took the concept behind this existing technology and on Wednesday
how it is modifying this idea into something new and different. Google is looking to give those without a GPS equipped phone the ability to use their phone as a locater on Google Maps.
The feature which is available for most cell phones which are able to access Google maps. Typically only smart-phones come with built in GPS. Google estimates that the vast majority of user's cell phones -- 85 percent -- do not contain GPS support.
The technology is part of Google's cell phone market push, which includes, most significantly, the Android OS, Google's new cell-phone OS which is gearing up to
take on Microsoft
The new locater service, will automatically enter the user's location information when Google Maps is loaded.
Google doesn't want its users to feel likes its watching them -- to alleviate privacy concerns, the system is designed to have minimal access to user information. It will not collect or access the user's phone number or any other personal information that might help to reveal their identity. Steve Lee, product manage for Google Mobile Maps also said the feature could be easily disabled by clicking a link in the help menu, as a further safety measure to set the consumer's mind at ease.
The service is drawing early enthusiasm from analysts, who say it will be great for on the go business people and travelers.
Google's service also has a couple of feathers in its cap over GPS. Its service will work indoors, which the
can not. Further, it will drain the cell phone's battery less that GPS, which could also be very helpful to business travelers with a long and tricky travel route.
However, Google's service does have its downsides. Google has rather vaguely stated that its range will be "on the neighborhood-level" , and will be between one-quarter to three miles of a user's location. One-quarter mile might be acceptable, but three miles is very different. If the service turns out to have a range of three miles, it would be virtually useless for in-city navigating, which would eliminate a large section of its market.
Also the service's backing database is currently under construction, so for now it will often draw a blank if it does not have the particular location in its memory. Google says it will fill in more and more of these holes as more users adopt the service.
The service does have fairly wide international coverage. It will support the US, much of Europe, the Russian Federation, Australia, and New Zealand.
There is also a somewhat long list of unsupported nations and phones. There is no support currently for service in China or Japan; there is no current support for
, the Motorola Q, the Samsung Blackjack, or the Palm Treo 700w.
Google hopes to use the device to increase its profitability by targeting users with local ads when they surf the web. Advertisers are willing to pay Google more to provide local ad content, as it is more effective in generating a user response.
cell phone drives
, a new
renewable energy initiative
, and a
new online offerings
, the tech industry will constantly be wondering what the geniuses at Google will be cooking up next.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: its not gps,but still nice.
12/3/2007 11:47:19 AM
Sure, let the man know where anyone they want to find is. IDIOTS
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
Hopes Answered: 3G IPhone Coming Next Year
November 29, 2007, 8:52 AM
Google Wants to Help America Ditch Fossil Fuels, Go Renewable
November 30, 2007, 2:33 PM
Google to Offer Free Online Storage
November 28, 2007, 9:33 AM
Ballmer Welcomes Google's Android OS to "Microsoft's World"
November 14, 2007, 9:56 AM
Google Releases Android SDK, Offers $10M in Rewards for "Cool Apps"
November 12, 2007, 12:52 PM
Samsung Announces Galaxy S5 Plus with Snapdragon 805 Processor, LTE-A
October 22, 2014, 3:40 PM
Motorola Further Increases Moto 360 Battery Life with New Update
October 22, 2014, 8:08 AM
Apple's iPad Air 2 Features Triple-core A8X Processor, 2GB of RAM
October 21, 2014, 8:32 PM
Toshiba Launches 11”, 2-in-1 Convertible PC for $329
October 21, 2014, 2:11 PM
Microsoft Begins Shifting Nokia Lumia Branding to "Microsoft Lumia"
October 21, 2014, 10:52 AM
Tim Cook Touts Apple’s Product Portfolio, Performance in Letter to Employees
October 21, 2014, 8:05 AM
Most Popular Articles
Cool Science Video of the Day: Carnivorous Leech Eats Giant Jungle Worm
October 16, 2014, 6:44 PM
Chinese Government Declares Digital War Against America's Top Tech Firms
October 20, 2014, 12:07 PM
PS4 "Masamune" Update 2.0 Will Bring New Music and Customization Features
October 17, 2014, 1:05 PM
HBO, CBS Lead Charge to Ditch Cable
October 16, 2014, 4:40 PM
Update: Motorola Droid Turbo Coming Oct 28, 48-hour Battery Life Confirmed
October 19, 2014, 9:19 PM
Latest Blog Posts
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information