The updated Google Maps for mobile will enable Symbian and Windows Mobile users to view traffic reports, create personalized map mashups, and view Wikipedia info on nearby attractions.
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Google Maps for Mobile 3.2
Google is bringing features from the desktop version of Google Maps to its mobile apps for Symbian and Windows Mobile smartphones.
The 3.2 version of Google Maps for mobile enables users to layer multiple types of data on the screen at the same time. This can include traffic reports, public transportation directions, local search results, and the location of friends using Google's Latitude service.
Additionally, consumers can create personalized map mashups on the go with the My Maps feature. Mobile users can also turn on a Wikipedia layer for information on nearby monuments and venues.
The company also improved the way users can search for location-relevant results. Under the "Search" tab, there's a link to browse popular categories, and Google said this can help mobile users avoid typing. The latest version of Google Maps can be downloaded directly to handsets from m.google.com/maps.
Symbian's YouTube app also was updated, and the latest version is now compatible with Series 60 Fifth Edition handsets like the N97 and the 5800 XpressMusic. The latest version doesn't offer major changes, but it is expected to improve playback and add functions.
While these operating systems are rivals to the Google-backed Android OS, the search giant benefits nearly any time consumers go online with handsets. Google has multiple apps for BlackBerry, Java ME, Symbian, and Windows Mobile, and it sometimes will bring new features like voice-driven search to the iPhone before it hits Android. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said he expects mobile Web advertisements will eventually generate more revenue than ads on the normal Web.
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