Google Maps on a Palm TX

Google’s announcement yesterday of a new Treo version of Google Maps for Mobile made me wonder whether it would also work on WiFi-equipped Palm handhelds, despite their absence from the list of compatible devices. Now, I don’t have a Palm with WiFi — I’ve all but retired my Tungsten T2 — but my significant other Jennifer does, so I borrowed her Palm TX to see what would happen.

The short answer is, it works.

Google Maps on a Palm TX I connected the Palm to my home wireless network and entered the URL in Blazer, the Palm’s web browser, and was presented with a page from which I could download the Google Maps software in PRC format — the format of Palm OS applications. The download was 426 KB, and installed a separate program: on the Palm, Google Maps runs as its own program, not as a web page.

The software runs well, has both map and satellite imagery layers (which look very nice on the TX’s high-resolution screen), and loads quickly, at least on a WiFi network connected to a 2 Mbps cable modem — expect different results on GPRS! I didn’t test traffic directions. It’s definitely a subset of the full site’s features, though. Also, it doesn’t support full-screen (320×480) Palms like the T3, T5 and TX; the virtual Graffiti area stays up.

Would I use this? Hell yes. (Or at least I would if I had the requisite gadgetry, got out of the house once in a while, or lived in an area with better cellphone coverage or more WiFi hotspots than, well, my own.)

See previous entries: Google Maps for Mobile Adds Traffic Conditions; Google Local for Mobile; Maps on Your PDA.