Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, about stuff

Some comments on Live Search for Mobile

with 4 comments

Over the past few years on this blog I’ve mentioned the tit-for-tat battle between Google and Microsoft to see who can come up with the best mobile mapping client for Windows Mobile (Google Maps for Mobile or Live Search for Mobile). A friend of mine recently got a new Windows Mobile phone and he installed both Google Maps for Mobile and Live Search for Mobile; here’s what he had to say:

Installed google maps from m.google.com/maps. Works beautifully and it is obvious from the list of programs and the title “Google Maps” what I am adding to the start menu. Go to m.live.com and install that and you get a program that doesn’t work as well (i.e. it seems to fail to download the tiles for me and shows a flag on the screen with an empty background) and about 5 “windows live” things are in the start menu – none of which is obviously maps…

How can Google get the WM maps solution sorted better than MS?!

Says it all really doesn’t it?

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Written by Jamiet

April 2, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. I think it’s going to be whatever works best for the user and that is going to change from user to user. I had downloaded both Google Maps and Live Search for Mobile, but I still find Live Search a consistently easier program to use. The very first time I used Google Maps I thought, "Well how do I search?!" because "Search" was under a menu button. The only two things I found that would be compelling about Google Maps for me is Latitude (alas I don’t know anyone who uses Google so doesn’t matter anyway) and Transit and Walking directions. I take transit every day, so that is a huge plus. GPS on Google rarely, if at all works on my Windows Mobile device and there’s no voice search capability. Live Search for Mobile shows you what you can do, right up front, without having to look under menus. Speech recognition on my device is really excellent and acquisition of GPS signal is usually pretty fast. I would like to see somehow my Live Messenger status somehow attached to Maps or GPS like Latitude, would be nifty, but only as an "extra." I’d also like transit directions or mapping on Live Search for Mobile as well. What I really don’t like out of both mapping clients is that there’s still no (easy) way that I can create a collection online and sign in to my device and have those collections present on my mobile. With both client programs, there’s been times where the maps won’t download so it’s not specific to just Live Search, Google’s has done it too.

    Chris

    April 2, 2009 at 6:10 pm

  2. Fair comment Chris – I’m kinda in the "other" camp – I find GMM to be a better overall product. Live search for Mobile is better in the US because it has more features than here in the UK (or anywhere else in the word for that matter) such as cinema listings.

    Jamie

    April 2, 2009 at 6:24 pm

  3. I have to agree with Jamie – Live Search has a lot of potential – but does fall short when it comes to the UK. I personally use a different GPS software for when I’m driving, so to not require constant network updates. I would like to see more integration in 6.5 though!

    Gaz

    April 2, 2009 at 6:52 pm

  4. I find Google Maps for Windows Mobile better for looking up businesses I don’t know (because of integrated reviews) but Live Search for Windows Mobile is more useful overall. (I’ve found the gas search & movie search in Live useful more times than business reviews, star reviews in Live are plenty.) My main gripe with Live Search for WM is launch time, and the "home screen", which devotes way too much screen space to UI "trim" (the logo, a small change location hyperlink w/ tons of surrounding whitespace) and not enough to frequent tasks or even an intial map. And as Chris says, I’d really love to see collection sync, killer app for either map package.

    Wade

    April 3, 2009 at 1:37 pm


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