Google Brings Offers To Maps For Android


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If you’re a fan of offer sites like Groupon, you might already know that Google has it’s own discount offer site, Google Offers. While still in Beta, Google Offers has already shown me a few great offers, so what they’re doing now is great. Google is bringing Offers to your mobile Google Maps application.

Offers For Beginners

For those unaware, here’s a summary of how these offer sites work. A business decides to give a really good deal on their product or service and offers it through the offer site. The site then approves and features some of the better offers and puts these offers in front of people. Enticed by a great deal, consumers buy offers and redeem them with the company. Many of the consumers are first-time customers, willing to take a chance on a new product or service because the cost risk is greatly reduced. The company provides this discount in hopes that they will gain many new loyal customers. This works very well for dining because, as a consumer, you can try many new places without spending a lot.

Why Integrate With Maps?

That’s a silly question, really. Perhaps we should ask why it took so long. It makes a lot of sense to have offers available to you right in your map application while you’re on the go. I use a couple apps that show me where I can eat nearby, but it would be better if I could see what new places I can try at a discount nearby. Honestly, I’ve already been doing this to some degree with FourSquare. When I’m out, I always check for a special anywhere I am already going to be, but I often also look at who has specials near me. I can’t wait to see this with Google Offers.

What About Mobile?

Google is already rolling out the update for their Maps application in Android, but us iPhone users will have to wait for the update. How long? It’s unknown, but it’s no surprise that Google would favor Android users for this update. At least I can convince my wife to let me play with it on her Android phone while I wait.

Microsoft Street Slide Improves Street Level Maps


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I’m a Google fan boy. I always have been and even though I’m still devoted to my iPhone, I think most of what Google churns out is golden. By this, of course, I mean all the things they’re doing other than search. When Google Maps first launched, I loved it. It was far better than any other mapping site. Years later, with updates from Microsoft, Yahoo, and Map Quest to their map sites, I still preferred Google. That may change, and soon.

Today, I learned about Microsoft’s new technology for street-level mapping called Street Slide.

Microsoft Street Slide

With Google Maps and other street level mapping sites, you zoom in to street level, and then you can zoom in more (while losing picture quality), or move forward or back to the next “bubble” panorama if you want to look further down the street. Street Slide is much more fluid, allowing you to slide the street back and forth to view more store fronts, etc. a lot faster. Because it leaves some space above and below the street images, they added in building numbers, street names, navigational controls and links and information about places of interest. I can’t explain it as well as the video, so take a look:

I still love Google Maps, but I think I’ll be stepping out on that relationship for my street view needs and will definitely have the iPhone version as soon as it’s available. Good job, Microsoft. Now it’s Google’s turn to catch up.

Nokia OVI Maps Free Forever


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Unaware of what would be announced, I stayed up late for the Nokia virtual press event I was invited to check out. While it wasn’t some hot new Nokia handset as I had hoped, it was still pretty cool news.

free nokia ovi maps

I was greeted with a video from Anssi Vanjoki (Markets) who announced that Nokia will now provide their OVI maps for free… forever. How’s that for a nice bold statement. That’s a great thing for you Nokia users, but what about me? OVI Maps is a product for the desktop, too.

ovi maps paris

The picture above shows OVI Maps in it’s 3D view displaying the Eiffel Tour, which I thought was pretty cool, but there’s a lot more to the maps than some 3D tricks. At first glance, it seems they’ve really set out to compete with Bing and Google in the map and mobile navigation space. Now I just need another Nokia phone to play with so I can really give it a spin.

I’d love to hear opinions from any of you Nokia users.