Mobile GPS Gets Interesting

More high-end phones, particularly smartphones, are coming with built-in GPS capabilities that coalesce with powerful applications to provide unparalleled utility. Case in point, the Google blog mentioned today that the GPS-enabled Cingular/AT&T BlackBerry 8800 supports advanced features of Google Maps for mobile.

This means that you can see your location live in Google Maps for mobile, something that used to be reserved for people with PDAs upgraded with some unsightly GPS antenna. So does this mean that driving around with a BlackBerry attached to your dashboard will become commonplace?

BlackBerry 8800 GPS
Note: This BlackBerry 8800 isn't running Google Maps for mobile.

This ability just kicked up the cool factor of the 8800 for me and all GPS-enabled phones for that matter. So what's next? Will we see the ability to text message someone and if we want, have them see our coordinates on a map? Maybe next generation mobile calendar applications will take GPS into account when you are planning a dinner outing with friends and suggest the closest restaurant for everyone. Update: Google released Google Calendar for mobile phones today 5/25.

Or what about a dating service that messages you if someone registered on the service that matches your type is nearby and it can allow you to message that person (for privacy purposes, neither person would know the other's exact location unless they agree to meetup). Regardless, you will want to watch this space in the coming years.

How many of you own a BlackBerry? I have been with a small, cheap I-can-throw-it-around-and-I-don't-care, yet bad-picture-taking Pantech C300 since my bad, nightmare-inducing Motorola Q experience. I have incessantly envied the features of BlackBerries and came close to wanting the upcoming BlackBerry Curve, but I always come back to basic, light-in-the-pocket phones. So that means I don't plan on purchasing an Apple iPhone.