Google Inc. is introducing software Monday designed to make its local search and mapping service easier to navigate on mobile phones, continuing the Internet search engine leader's effort to extend its reach beyond personal computers.
Consumers who download and install the new software will be able to skip some of the steps that had been required since Google began offering a mobile version of its maps nearly seven months ago.
For instance, users won't have to type in their location before getting directions to a specific location, as long as their phone has Global Positioning System, or GPS, capabilities, said Deep Nishar, a director of Google's mobile products.
Google has been exploring ways to pinpoint the location of its users in order to better target ads from nearby merchants. But Nishar said that goal isn't driving the mobile upgrade: Google doesn't plan to display ads alongside its mobile maps.
Ads generate virtually all of Google's revenue, which totaled $4.2 billion through the first nine months of this year. The Mountain View-based company recorded a $1.1 billion profit during that time, continuing an exceptional streak of prosperity that has propelled its market value above $100 billion just seven years after its inception.
Emboldened by its success, Google has been busily expanding beyond its once-austere search engine. With the push, Google is becoming increasingly involved in telecommunications, television and publishing.
Using Google's new mobile mapping software requires Java-enabled phones. Most subscribers with wireless service from Cingular, T-Mobile and Sprint should be able to use the software. The service won't work with Verizon phones, Blackberry devices or Palm devices, the AP reports.