Google Mobile App for BlackBerry introduces Search by voice and My Location

A lot of newcomers and tourists to New York encounter the same problem: the pronunciation of the street, Houston. No, it's not pronounced the same way as the city in Texas, but instead is pronounced as "how-stun.

A lot of newcomers and tourists to New York encounter the same problem: the pronunciation of the street, Houston. No, it's not pronounced the same way as the city in Texas, but instead is pronounced as "how-stun." Assuming you're not from the area and a friend asks you to meet them at a restaurant on Houston, you might type in Howstun on your little BlackBerry and be very confused by the results. Well, not anymore. Google has come out with a mobile app for BlackBerrys that uses Search by voice, and My Location to help you find your way.

The new app not only keeps you from searching for a wrong name, but it also relieves you from typing in addresses on the tiny BlackBerry keyboard. The Search by voice feature doesn't work for the Storm yet. I tired it on a Verizon Wireless 8330 Curve, and was disappointed to find that it didn't work for me. Every time I tried, it just told me to restart Google Mobile App, which I did, but to no avail. You're supposed to be able to just press the green call button and speak into your phone, but it just would not work for me. A few people have commented on the Google Mobile blog that it has worked for them with the Curve.

After my frustrating experience with the voice feature, I was happy to find that the My Location feature worked well. Google finds your location without you having to enter it in, and then shows you what's around you. I typed in "bagels," and sure enough, my favorite bagel shop showed up in the drop down menu. You can also choose to see a map of the closest bagels shops around you. If you're not a bagel person, don't worry, I also tried "Indian food," and was pleased by the amount, and speediness, of the results.

Local results have a link to open Google Maps for mobile to give you step-by-step directions. Searching by voice can be used in conjunction with My Location, and it even works with standard Google searches, like weather, or currency conversions.

So far, the Search by voice feature is only in English, but it offers British English as well. Google Mobile App is now available on all versions of BlackBerry running on O/S 4.1+ and with Search by voice on O/S 4.2 and above. Google says support for BlackBerry Storm is coming soon.

Try it out for yourself by visiting http://m.google.com on your BlackBerry, and let us know what you think.

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