October 01, 2009, 1:46 PM — Google has added new features to its mobile search that include synchronicity with a desktop version of Google Maps and categories that you can browse, so you can search without typing.
If you're the type that likes to plan your trips ahead of time, you can now search Google Maps from home for the places you'd like to visit, save them by clicking the little star next to the place's name, and have the full list of remembered locations appear on your phone under the "local" tab of the Web site. Clicking on the "starred places" names take you to Google's mobile-optimized place pages, which function a lot like the uber-helpful Yelp.
The browsable categories are for people who like to concoct plans on the fly. You can enable location detection so your phone and Google know where you are, and then cycle through the category options, such as restaurants, food and drink, shopping, gas and automotive, and more.
These evolved features serve to remind us that not everyone has a super high-tech smartphone, and that the mobile renditions of Web apps can make simple cell phones just as helpful as their fancy brethren.