Thursday, November 29, 2007

Am I the only one disappointed with My Location?

Oops: I had somehow gotten the impression this was an iPhone-only service (I blame the iPhone hoopla, its not /my/ fault!). Since it works across platforms and networks, that is more interesting; I guess Google didn't want to mess with getting the rights from each carrier to be a certified-for-LBS appliation. Which means I go back to being mad at every carrier for restricting this information. Oh, and My Location doesn't work (yes, I have the latest version) on my S60 phone. So, that makes me sad. Actually, to be more clear, I am bored with Google's "new" My Location product. I am disappointed with the numerous, generally fawning reactions to it. Its not that I have anything against having location in the iPhone. In fact, it tops my list of things that disappoint me about it. Instead, its because location is not just GPS. GPS phones can generally step down from telemetry sending to triangulation, then sector, then cell, to give some location sense to the application. This has been available for at least five years (I worked on UI for it at least that long ago). So, to me, non-GPS location is table stakes. This technology should have been included with iPhone from day one. Being not familiar with the AT&T network, maybe they never installed the triangulation software, but that just means the whole network is behind the curve. It may be marginally interesting how Google implemented this (is it really just for them, or did AT&T really just install it on the network and every service can, theoretically, get to it?) but I suspect not. For example, I am hearing reports of it not working sometimes. The network always knows which tower you are on, so if its not falling back, maybe I am in fact disappointed in Google. Or maybe AT&T; google is making users map the towers? I don't get it. (For the record, I was already disappointed with Nokia and/or AT&T for not including similar LBS with the GPS-less N75. No one gets a free ride from me).

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