Geeky/Programming Product Reviews

Mobile GPS: Google Maps for Mobile vs. Live Search for Mobile

This evening, I hooked up my Pharos Bluetooth adapter with my Microsoft GPS and synced it to my T-Mobile Dash. I hopped in my Vibe and cruised around town, so I could test out the GPS capabilities. In the past, I have used Pocket Streets and Trips (I don’t think newer versions of Streets and Trips have the Pocket Version anymore though, I have an older version – I have used the laptop version with the GPS, it works well), and Virtual Earth Mobile. As I don’t have those installed currently, I decided to try two new products. Google Maps for Mobile and Live Search for Mobile.

I’ll start off by just saying, that getting the Bluetooth GPS working can be tricky. I paired it with my Dash, then set up a COM port so I could utilize it within applications.

Live Search for Mobile was pretty easy to set up. In the settings, there is a place to pick the COM port, I chose the one I set up, and then went to the maps, and chose an option for “Center on GPS”. In a few seconds, I was watching myself (as a little red arrow) on the screen. The road maps are good, slightly out of date, but the aerial maps are really bad. Black and white even. On to the next test.

Google Maps for Mobile: the maps are nice. The aerial maps are really good for Central MN, but the thing is, as much as I tried, I couldn’t get the GPS to start within the application. There must be something funny with the way it looks for the GPS, so in all reality, I didn’t test much with GMM.

Now that I have my GPS paired, I want to get mologogo working again, but their site is down, something with a DNS issue. Has been down for a week or so. Once I get that up, maybe I will make a page here again or a sidebar widget that shows my current location. The one goofy thing is, the charger for the Bluetooth unit is kind of wacky, if I remember, my PSP charger worked better, I will have to dig into that. My car has 112V plugin, so that is cool.

I can’t wait for the day when you can get 3D GPS like Virtual Earth 3D or Google Earth, or even Bird’s Eye on your mobile, sync’d with GPS, you will never get lost.

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By Steve Novoselac

Director of Digital Technology @TrekBikes, Father, Musician, Cyclist, Homebrewer

One reply on “Mobile GPS: Google Maps for Mobile vs. Live Search for Mobile”

Windows Live Search is great and it is free. Very useful even if you do not have a GPS and it is even more useful if you have one. You are right about the bluetooth GPS, it sometimes can be tricky to setup. However, I found a guide with screenshots that was very useful when I had to setup mine. The guide is here just in case someone else needs help 😉


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