Google has announced that the latest version of Google Maps for Mobile (4.1) is now available for Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile phones. This means that Nokia N97 and HTC HD2 owners can now enjoy the same Search by Voice function as enjoyed by BlackBerry and Android users.
Search by Voice works by pressing the call button on your phone when you’re in Google Maps, then speaking into the receiver. According to Pocket-Lint, Google Maps 4.1 converts your speech into a waveform and then pings it off to Google’s servers for analysis before sending the results back to your handset.
It works with addresses (eg. 48-54 Charlotte Street) and company names (eg. Recombu) – ideal if you’re off for an interview or a meeting, or need to know where to send the flowers and boxes of chocolates.
If you’re currently stuck abroad, you could simply shout ‘British Embassy’ or ‘Car Hire Depot’ into your phone (beware roaming charges though – best to find some Wi-Fi first!). Or if you’ve managed to make it back and want to celebrate your return home with a Full English and a cup of tea just feebly mumble ‘Wetherspoons’ into your phone as you fight back the tears.
Best of all, the Google Maps 4.1 is free. Point your Symbian S60 or Windows Mobile phone’s browser to m.google.com/maps to start downloading.
Google Maps 4.1 is a precursor to the 4.1.1 beta which was released earlier this week for Android phones (1.6 or higher). So we could well see turn-by-turn sat-nav functionality arriving on S60 and Windows phones sometime soon.