Google Mobile App: a must have

I never cease to marvel at the Google’s prolific development of new applications. The latest one to come to my attention is simply called Google Mobile App. It is a plugin that can be placed on your Today Screen for easy access or invoked from an icon in your Programs menu. Alternatively, you can program it to run from a hardware button.

clip_image002Not surprisingly, it has a text input box for Google searches as well as two icons on the main panel bar. I suspect a larger screen or landscape screen would reveal more icons on the panel, but this is how it appears on my Treo Pro square screen. The two icons are for Gmail and Google Maps. Tapping on the plus symbol brings up a new screen with more icons.

The popup screen has an array of 12 icons that will give you access to many of Google’s popular applications such as Gmail, Maps, YouTube, News, Picassa, Calendar, Reader, 411, SMS, Orkut, Docs, and Blogger.

In case you are not familiar with all of these great services, let’s review them briefly so you will appreciate the usefulness of this nifty little application making them so easily accessible.

clip_image004Google Search: the most popular search engine on the Internet. The nice thing about this search box is that you don’t have to wait to pull up a browser to initiate a query.

Google Maps: a great free mapping program that will find and call your favorite pizza parlor or give you turn by turn directions to it. If connected to GPS, it will track your progress on a map.

YouTube: Recently acquired by Google, YouTube is the most popular video posting service on the Web.

News: a nice news aggregator that compiles headlines from over 4500 English-language news sources worldwide and groups similar stories according to your interests and specifications—kinda like building your own customized newspaper

Picassa: This versatile photo application allows you to organize, edit, and turn your photos into movies (if you wish) and post them online.

Calendar: represents an online calendar most useful for collaborative synchronization of events and appointments that can be accessed and edited by specified others.

Reader: an application that lets you get and organize the latest news and updates from your favorite sites and share it with others via email or blog.

411: tired of paying up to two bucks for calling your phone company to get a phone listing? Use 411 for free.

Docs: Everyone who engages in collaborative writing projects should use this great application so that all participants are all on the same page at all times. It’s a great way to share documents or publish them online. It accepts Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files.

SMS: the greatest and quickest instant access to information from weather to sports scores, from measurements to definitions, from finding businesses to movies and theaters, from postal codes to stock quotes, from directions to flight schedules, from Q&A to area codes and more. Just text 466453 (GOOGLE) to a set of keywords found here: http://www.google.ca/mobile/sms/index.html

Orkut: yet another social networking site that has not really taken off in the U.S. but most popular in Brazil for some reason—named after a Google employee Orkut Byuykkokten

Blogger: allows you to post photos and text directly to your Blogger- built blog sites from your mobile phone.

Conclusion

Clearly, the functionality of this application is a boon to mobile efficiency, and you would be well advised to make it part of your toolkit. The good news is that it is totally free, as are all the applications it connects too. You must have a Google account in some cases to enjoy the bounty, but that’s free too.

Sign up for a Google account, if you don’t have one, here: http://www.google.com/accounts.

Download Google Mobile here: http://tinyurl.com/epfz3. There is a version for almost any mobile platform, even iPhone. You can get it on your phone over the air here: http://tinyurl.com/clmz64. Or, visit m.google.com on your phone’s browser.

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I’m surprised that other popular Google applications such as Talk, iGoogle, and Notebook were not included. Perhaps they will be in future iterations. What would be really nice is if you could add or subtract your favorite applications.

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