BIG HUGE DISCLAIMER: This week’s tip applies to ‘smart phones‘ with web access and/or texting capabilities. Using these services could result in additional phone charges for you. Please ensure you have a good understanding of what is and isn’t included in your current mobile phone plan before trying these services.
The Google Mobile app is a great way to access many of the most popular Google services when you are on the go and away from your computer. This app gives you access to maps, directions, search and more. If you have a phone capable of running apps this is definitely one that you should check out.
NOTE: Different phones have different sets of features available. You can see the checklist of features available on your phone here.
Of course the Google app is going to do search. A few of the nice features you can use with this app on your mobile phone include:
» Voice search. Nice feature that allows you to skip the challenge of typing on your phone.
» Search results based on your location. See the video below for an example of how this works.
One of the most common things I use this app for is directions. My favorite feature in this department is that it will automatically detect your location, even if you don’t have GPS on your phone.
» Directions. Get driving, transit, biking, or walking directions in a list or on the map (where data is available).
» Current Location. Nice feature that detects your location so you can search for things near you or get directions from right where you are at the time you need them. The video below gives a very nice overview of how this works but note that it’s a YouTube which is blocked so you might have to watch if from home or your mobile phone. 😎
This one might interest you if you’ve ever lost your phone, dropped it in the sink or tried to manually transfer your old phones contacts to a new one. The only caveat is this requires a Gmail account. Personally, if all you use that account for is for a backup copy of your contact info which can automatically sync to your phone it’s still worth it.
Depending on which phone you have you can also use either Gmail or Google Voice to send free SMS text messages. Learn more about Google SMS applications here.
How To Get Google Maps for Your Phone
No matter which brand of smart phone you have, you can simply visit m.google.com using your phone’s web browser and Google will send the right version of the Google app to you.