RIM has just updated their bundled mapping app, BlackBerry Maps, to include data for Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, New Zealand, the Philippines and Taiwan. Additionally, map data now includes a smattering of points of interest on the map, so you can see handy little icons where hospitals, universities, police stations, subway stations, shopping centres, parking, parks and airports are located.There’s also a couple of visual tweaks that you can see in the comparison above.
I noticed the POIs on the BlackBerry Bold 9780 I’m testing currently, and though the new features still might not be enough for me to use it over Google Maps for Mobile, it’s a nice tool for third-party app developers looking to include some mapping or location data. BlackBerry Maps is also a great choice if you want to keep your data usage to a minimum; RIM has been really good at compressing the maps so they use up a fraction of the bandwidth Google Maps demands. One can only hope that at some point RIM will offer free turn-by-turn directions like Nokia did with Ovi and Google does with just about every Android device, but that might sour some of the carrier relationships that BlackBerry holds dear.
If you’d like to give the new features a go, open up BlackBerry Maps on your device, and simply clear the cache in the options.