Google Maps for mobile expands to S60, WinMo phones

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Google announced the launch of Google Maps for mobile 2.3 with Street View on Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile smartphones, expanding the application beyond its existing releases for the Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone platforms. The extension to S60 and WinMo devices coincides with the launch of recent Google Street View enhancements in international markets like France, Italy, Spain and Australia, where those phones are particularly popular among consumers. Street View offers users ground-level panoramic images and directions to help them better establish their location in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Google adds Street View will continue rolling out in new geographies over the months ahead. Google Maps for mobile 2.3 also includes a series of new features including walking directions (joining driving and public transit instructions), transit alert and user reviews. Google also promises a more efficient user interface.

In other Google mobile news, the web services giant announced a new Labs feature enabling users to send text messages via Gmail, allowing for consumers to connect to on-the-go contacts via home computer email interface. "[The feature] combines the best parts of IM and texting: you chat from the comfort of your computer, and your friends can peck out replies on their little keyboards," writes product manager Leo Dirac on the Official Gmail Blog. "We're just trying it out for cell phones in the United States right now, but you can send texts to your friends with U.S. phone numbers from anywhere in the world. You can start by just typing a phone number into the search box in the chat window on the left, then select ‘Send SMS.' You can also select the contact you want to SMS first and then add their phone number."

For more on Google Maps for mobile 2.3:
- read this Official Google Mobile Blog entry or check out this Google Maps for mobile demo video

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