SmartPhoneBlogging

smart thoughts on smart phones

Windows Phone Windows Phone reviews Windows Phone Software Windows Phone Utility apps

Review: Google Maps update (3.2) for Windows Mobile

Google Maps is one of my favourite Windows Mobile apps, and it just got even better. The latest upate to version 3.2 gives us some new features that enhance the Google Maps experience. I’m going to review the new features of Google Maps 3.2 in this post only. For further informations and an in-depth review of Google Maps check out my Google Maps for Windows Mobile review.

So what is the biggest difference between the older Google Maps version and Google Maps 3.2? Google introduces the “Layer” function to Google Maps. Using this feature you can shows different kinds of informations like public transportations, and wikipedia articles on the map. The main menu will show you the new option as you can see on following screenshot.

Google Maps menu
Google Maps menu

After selecting the layer option you will see the general layer screen, which will give you the option to proceed to the “layer search”. Also there is a list of recently used layers shown on this page, so you can quickly activate/deactivate your favourite layers.

Google Maps layer menu
Google Maps layer menu

Tapping on the “layer search” box will lead to the layer selection screen. This is where you can activate a specific layer. Currently you can open your own maps if you have any within your google account, or decide between wikipedia, public transportation, latitude and traffic layers.

Google Maps layer selection
Google Maps layer selection

The next screenshot shows the activated public transportation layer, which comes in very handy, if you are on the road in a foreign city and need to find your way to a place using public transportation. Currently i could only find subway and metro informations for munich, it would be great if we could get even bus lines information in the future, since there are many points in the world where you just don’t have any other public transportations. But i think everybody will understand, that it wouldn’t be an easy task to archieve this. The only possible way would be to let the community of google maps users provide this data about their hometowns. Nevertheless google should implement this additional information at least for all major cities like munich.

Google Maps public transportation layer
Google Maps public transportation layer

Let’s take a look at the Wikipedia layer, which is definetly my favourite layer of the bunch. Using this layer you will see a lot of interesting informations about your surroundings using Google Maps. For every place where Google Maps finds a Wikipedia article, you will see a Wikipedia icon onscreen. Depending on the size of the article the icon is either big or small.

Google Maps Wikipedia layer
Google Maps Wikipedia layer

Tapping on an icon will result in a new window, which shows the Wikipedia url and the content of the article. I really love this feature, and it’s just fun to look around on Google Maps and check out various informations about historical buildings and more. The Wikipedia layer is a perfectly fitting addition to Google Maps in my opinion.

Google Maps Wikipedia page
Google Maps Wikipedia page

The traffic layer didn’t work for me, i always got an error message saying that there is no traffic information available. Furthermore i don’t use latitude so i can’t tell how good this layer will work, but since it’s a google service the implementation should be very good.

As i mentioned at the beginning of this article, Google Maps is one of my favourite Windows Mobile apps, because it provides very helpful informations in many different ways. And the recent new features brought it one step further towards perfection.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

You can find the Google Maps download on the official Google Maps mobile page.