Google Maps Updated to v4.10, Adds Voice SearchFiled Under Nokia 5800 News
The good old Google Maps just got better on the symbian version with the update to v4.1. As seen in its clients across several mobile platforms, voice commands seem to be the theme for mobile applications this season and it finally lands on the Google Maps client for the symbian version.
When it comes to voice commands, differing accents pose a stumbling block, as Microsoft learned when it was pitching Microsoft Dictation as the primary speech-to-text add-on for its Office suite. Has Google learned anything from Microsoft’s bitter experience? Let’s find out after the break.
Since the highlight of this update is the voice search feature, we started playing (or rather talking) around with the app as soon as we downloaded the update. Voice recognition is surprisingly accurate and it even lets you chose the accent: American, Australian, British, Indian and New Zealand along with support for Mandarin. Now that looks like a smart move from Google: covering India and China is like covering more than half the world’s population and by throwing in a few other English accents, Google has captured the bulk of the English speaking world population.
Coming back to the praticality: voice search works great. The app failed to recognise only once in our close to dozen attempts and when it failed, it did come up with suggestions (beginners, mcdonald’s, mega hertz, mac rumours, night terrors!), one of which was the correct one (McDonald’s) as indicated in the third screenshot above. In general voice recognition was satisfactory and there were only issues when we used local street names (like Tanjong, Batok etc) which is expected for non-English names.
Apart from voice search, the update also added the “Report a problem” option, just in case you find any discrepancies with Google Maps.
What we like?
- Voice commands work great
- App seems to load faster than earlier
What we don’t like?
- May be support for more languages (Just that we have to fill in this section!)
Google Maps is the most popular navigation app for good reason. It’s free, available across several platforms, and with the recent inclusion of voice search, one of the most intuitive and easy-to-use app on our 5800s. Though it’s nowhere near the version on android (with free voice guided navigation for US and UK) and iPhone (faster and more optimized UI), it’s heading in the right direction on symbian road. We know wtih Ovi Maps going free, it’s hard to keep away from it but if you are addicted to Google Maps, voice search gives you just another reason to switch to Google Maps for your navigation needs (if you are on a data plan though!)
Google Maps for Symbian can be updated/downloaded by pointing your browser to m.Google.com/Maps