Part five of this ongoing series examines the new Google Maps application, and manual transmission of data. I have saved the best feature for the last post in this series. The Google Maps application really out-does itself.
Google Maps, Redux
The greatest addition to the iPhone through the 1.1.3 firmware, is the dramatic improvement to the Google Maps application. This application is argued by many to be the “killer app” for the iPhone. In fact, I can attest that the map application has been used by me many times, and in every instance, it was a critical situation.
With the new firmware comes the iPhone’s ability to find you. In the bottom left hand of the map application, there is a small “target” icon. When you press this, the iPhone uses data from the surrounding cell phone towers to triangulate your position. I have found this feature works best in dense metropolitan areas. Presumably this is because of the sheer number of cell towers. In my small hometown, my iPhone was able to find me within about two blocks; when I traveled into the city, it was accurate within feet. This new feature is more than a parlor trick. If you know where you want to go, and you know where you are, you can get directions. This feature turns your Apple iPhone into travel GPS device. This adds real value to the phone.
Google Maps is also updated its list of map views with a hybrid view. The hybrid view is my personal favorite on the PC version of Google Maps, so this was a delight for me to see. If Google Maps was the wasn’t the iPhone’s killer app, it certainly is a contender now.
Last and for me, certainly least.
The final improvement to the Apple iPhone is that of “manual transmission.” This feature allows a user to transfer a media file directly to the iPhone through iTunes without syncing the machine. This file transfer is one way (from computer to iPhone), and it allows a user to easily sync their iPhone to more than one computer. While this has never been a concern of mine, I do see how this feature can be very useful.