BlackBerry Pearl (8110, 8120 and 8130 models) owners in the U.S. can now use their voice to search on Google Maps. The speech recognition technology used is the same as the one on Google’s free directory assistance service, GOOG0411.
Google Maps for mobile team argues that the new feature is very useful, especially in situations when you can’t type, don’t know how to spell the name of the business/street, or the name itself is too long.
To try out the new feature, point the BlackBerry Pearl’s browser to www.google.com/gmm to download the latest version of the application. Afterwards, follow the three easy steps:
- Press “0” to center the map view around your location.
- Press the left-side key and hold it while you say the name or type of business you’re looking for (for example, “pizza”).
- When you’re done speaking, release the left-side key, and Google’s mambo-jumbo will figure out what you said and find the business you’ve been looking for.
One thing to note, though, is that at the moment this feature is experimental, which means the accuracy of voice recognition will improve over time as more people start using it.