Keep your starred items in sync with Google Maps

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 9:20 AM

(cross-posted with Google Mobile Blog)

Google Maps for mobile has long allowed you to add stars on a map to mark your favorite places. You may have noticed a few months ago that Google Maps for desktop browsers introduced the ability to star places as well. Unfortunately, there was no way to keep these starred places in sync with Google Maps on your phone. With today's release of Google Maps for mobile 3.3 on Windows Mobile and Symbian phones, you'll now be able to keep the starred places on your phone and on your computer completely synchronized. It's like magic, but magic that you can use. Let me show you how:

My colleague Andy is at his desk right now, and he wants to check out some comedy in London tonight. Google Maps lists the 4th result as Upstairs at the Ritzy -- it sounds like a great spot: cheap, fun and comfortable. With one click, Andy stars the item and he's done. When he walks out of the office and turns on Google Maps on his Nokia phone, Upstairs at the Ritzy will be the top place in his list of Starred Items, and it will show up as a star on his map. From there he can call the theater, get walking directions, or even SMS the address to a friend.

Starring on Google Maps for desktop computers and Google Maps for mobile

Starring places also works great when you're out on the town and you find cool spots using your phone. I was in Paris with my wife recently. We visited the obvious tourist spots like la tour Eiffel and le Musée du Louvre, but we also found a few interesting places we hadn't expected. While wandering the streets of Paris, we stumbled upon a cafe...the sort of place you'll remember forever, but immediately forget the name. I started Google Maps on my Nokia phone, searched for the name of the cafe (Les Philosophes) and starred it, knowing that when I come back to Google Maps on my computer at home, it will be starred, right there, on my map. How cool is it to create a trail of interesting places from your phone?!

For users upgrading from an older version of Google Maps for mobile, you'll be asked, when you log in, whether you'd like to synchronize your existing starred items with your Google Account. This means you can preserve all the work you've put into customizing your map on your mobile, and have it show up, conveniently, in Google Maps in your desktop browser.

To enjoy the benefits of all this mobile synchronization goodness, download Google Maps for mobile for your Symbian or Windows Mobile phone by visiting m.google.com/maps in your mobile browser. And don't worry, we're busy building this same functionality into our other mobile versions of Google Maps -- so sit tight.