Hey everybody! It’s my pleasure today to introduce guest blogger Rob, Team Lead for BlackBerry® Maps. He’ll be going over the newly revamped BlackBerry Maps 6.0 and the features that make it a must-have app for your BlackBerry® smartphone. Take it away, Rob! – Ed.
Are you the kind of BlackBerry smartphone user that’s most comfortable with a map in front of them for navigating? Then you’ll be happy to know that when BlackBerry® 6 OS was launched, a new version of BlackBerry Maps was released with it! The release of the BlackBerry® Torch™ 9800 smartphone with BlackBerry 6 gave us the perfect opportunity to re-architecture the application and underlying platform to allow for new features and lots of future features.
The revamped BlackBerry Maps 6.0 has many changes from its predecessor. Let’s check them out!
Revamped Features in BlackBerry Maps 6.0
We have spiffy new high-quality maps that include more information, including hospitals, parking, and shopping centres. There’s also higher road density which fills out the gaps at some zoom levels. Combine this with strong colors and an easing of street line weights – you will now see multiple lanes! – and you’ve got a great app to help you get from point A to point B.
Speaking of finding a destination, if it’s a specific place or address you’re looking for, then you’ll be glad to hear that the Search engine in BlackBerry Maps 6.0 has been optimized to assist you in your trip. Plus, the look of Search has been updated and is solidly consistent. (Also, to our UK users: We’ve now got your address covered!) The new version of BlackBerry Maps also integrates with the new Universal Search feature in the BlackBerry® 6 OS, which is designed to allow users to mark locations on the map as a favorite. These favorite locations are then searchable within Universal Search.
Also, by utilizing the power of BlackBerry 6.0 OS and its touch screen support, we were able to incorporate pinch-to-zoom – in BlackBerry Maps 6.0, you can use the pinch gesture to zoom the map in and out.
Using BlackBerry Maps 6.0 to Find Your Location
Another cool new feature is that BlackBerry Maps will always know where you’re located, as long as you have cell service and a view of the sky. After all, one of the most important features you can ask for in a mapping solution is the user’s current location!
In BlackBerry Maps 6.0, we have taken advantage of the advances in cell-tower triangulation and GPS to lower the location-retrieval time to seconds. As well, the app continually keeps itself up to date with the user’s location, so a particular location will always be available.
BlackBerry Maps 6.0 Functionality
We have completely re-tooled the UI for BlackBerry Maps, and several aspects of the UI were optimized for the best possible experience. The search screens now allow users to search both addresses and local search (for places such as businesses) at the same time, and the Get Directions wizard is highly intuitive – great for helping you out when you’re stuck. All this information is clearly laid out for you to use!
Also, BlackBerry Maps 6.0 comes fully integrated with your BlackBerry smartphone’s native apps. BlackBerry Maps can be launched from numerous platforms: an email, a geotagged photo, Universal Search, BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™), and any generic text field (for example, typing in an address can launch Maps).
BlackBerry Maps 6.0 currently comes bundled with all new BlackBerry smartphone devices running BlackBerry 6.0. To check and make sure that the BlackBerry Maps icon is present on your device, please visit http://www.blackberry.com/maps.
Cheers, Rob! Readers: please post a comment and let us know how you use BlackBerry Maps!