Sony Ericsson K850i test: Google Maps for Mobile with My Location works

Google Maps for Mobile‘s My Location feature works in the Sony Ericsson K850i, the latest in the Cyber-shot line to hit the market. My Location is a cool feature that places your approximate location on the map using GPS (Global Positioning System) or mobile towers.

If you have one of the recent phones that report cell sites, Google Maps will draw a blue circle on the map to represent your approximate location, as determined through the use of cell sites.

Sony Ericsson k850i running Google Maps for mobile WHERE AM I? Anywhere from Fuente Osmneña to the middle of the Cebu harbor, according to this location data provided by Google Maps for Mobile running in the Sony Ericsson K850i. I was inside the Sun.Star Cebu office on P de. Rosario St. when I ran the application. Click on photo to enlarge image.

I previously tried the service with the K750i and K800i but both units don’t report cell sites they are using to connect to the network My Location won’t work with them. Last week, I tried it with a K850i demo unit lent to me by Sony Ericsson Philippines for testing and got it working in no time.

I used my Smart account in testing the K850i so its cell towers were the ones being used to plot the phone’s location.

It isn’t GPS, which is accurate up to a few meters, and the blue circle that indicates my general location covers an area that seems more than a kilometer wide.

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New Google Maps for Mobile tracks your position using cell phone towers

Google released last week a new version of its Google Maps for Mobile application. The release, as with many of Google’s products, is designated “beta,” a label used for software that is still being actively tested and not yet released to the public.

I’ve read about mobile maps applications before, including the earlier Google versions, but I never bothered trying it out because I don’t travel much. In fact my daily travel is such a routine I can tell you what size of potholes are located in which part of the highways in Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu Cities.

Google Maps for Mobile GOOGLE MAPS FOR MOBILE. A satellite photo of Fuente Osmena rotunda as seen through the Google Maps for mobile application running in my Sony Ericsson K750i. Click on photo to enlarge.

But what caught my interest in last week’s announcement is a new feature in Google Maps: it can now plot your location using the cellphone towers of your mobile network. The application then displays a blue dot showing a bigger light blue circle to display your approximate location. That feature is called My Location.

Previously, you can plot your locations in mapping applications if you have a GPS (global position system) device or module. With the new Google application, the software can plot your location via triangulation of your position using the cellphone towers that connect your phone to your mobile network.

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