It been a big giant week for geo. But then again, barely a week goes past without some interesting mobile location based news. The biggest news was the new iPhone OS4.0. Yesterday I hinted at the advertising functionality, but it is the GPS enhancements that really have a lot of people excited. Here is one example:

Totally Unexpected: Background Location

All of the Apple nerds at SimpleGeo Boulder were crowded around a single screen and when this announcement hit, we all jumped for joy. As part of the multitasking features Apple added, they introduced new background APIs that a developer could use to extend their app while it’s closed. These included: background audio, background VoIP and background location.

So what does it mean?

This means that any app that’s using geolocation as a feature, context, or anything else, will now be able to know where you’re moving even when the app’s closed.

I’m personally thinking there might be a user backlash against GPS tracking at some point, and then this just makes the PNR data on travellers more valuable, but I opened this post by claiming a week of big news, and Apple was not the only one getting headlines. Google released version 4.0.1 of Google Maps for Blackberry, and the specs looked very impressive, including search by voice. But when I tried to install it I was being asked to change permissions that were impossible to change – looking online, I am definintely not the only user impacted by this issue.

At first I thought it might have been the company restrictions set my the system administrator, but after I asked politely for him to install it on his own phone as a test I got the following response:

…its working on mine. Sorry. It told me to open the Policy view, and just return from that panel by saving the settings, which I did. And I do even have policy settings on my device. The only difference I see is, that you have a 8310 Device with FW 4.5 and I have a 9700 with FW 5.0.

So maybe it is the handset model or more likely the firmware version, but either way, it looked like the only option was to uninstall and return to the old version – now I am back using Google Maps for Blackberry version 3.2.1 and voice search, Buzz, starring and labs functionality will all have to wait for a later date, at least for me personally.

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