Google launches Maps for mobiles

No, it wasn't the Google Phone ...

Google today unveiled its Google Maps service for UK mobiles at a London press briefing.

Google Maps for Mobile has been designed specifically for the smaller screens of mobile phones and differs somewhat from the PC version. But the mobile mapping service includes the same features we have come to know on Google Maps - business searches, directions, tube/train stations, zoom and satellite imagery.

Google Maps for Mobile also adds a local search that finds businesses and services in your area. If you're looking for the full address of your GP, for example, just type in his or her name and the surgery address will be displayed on screen.

Local recommendations

Alternatively, if you're craving some Chinese food but your favourite take-away is closed, Google Maps will recommend other restaurants in the area. It'll also let you phone them straight from the application without having to close it first.

Google Maps for Mobile features information from Google 's own data, Yellow Pages and third parties such as (restaurant reviews), (pub listings), and London Transport (tube station info). It covers the whole of the UK, and will automatically detect if you travel to another country and pick the relevant mapping information for that country.

Google Maps for Mobile is a small ("a few 100KB") downloadable Java application which will run on any Java-supported handset. It connects to a data network every time you search or scroll, so make sure you're on a generous data tariff before you start browsing away.