Google Maps just got a lot better for webOS (with a work-around) | webOS Nation

Google Maps just got a lot better for webOS (with a work-around) 36

by Tim Stiffler-Dean Sat, 28 May 2011 1:20 pm EDT

Thanks to the diligent workers found in our forums (especially rmausser), you can now get access to the very same (improved) Google Maps mobile website that Android and iPhone users have access to. With a little bit of time and elbow-grease, you can stop using the built-in Google Maps application that so many of us have become frustrated with, and instead go straight to the source at Google itself. Just follow the 8 steps laid out by rmausser in our forums, and you'll be using the very slick Google Maps website on your webOS device in no time.

We won't say it's perfect, because it's not. There are a number of small problems that are introduced with accessing the website in a way it wasn't really intended. But if you're looking for a solution besides what has already been given to us, this quick work-around (which requires a google account that you can log into on your device and a computer) is a sight for sore eyes amongst the webOS faithful. 



man.. I really hate that the source links don't show up in mobile view..

Cant H/P hire two or three programmers comfortable coding for maps and just improve the google maps app themselves rather than waiting for El Google to do it? I know Bing is coming but I also want Google too

Google owns the Google Maps application, and their license on the underlying data (much of it is not theirs) prevents them from sublicensing it or providing significant access. There was a guy who was trying to create a Google Earth clone and it was shut down for this reason. Much of the underlying data between the two is the same.

I am pretty sure one can buy some sort of access

Wow...a janky workaround. Not at all unlike the iPhone spoof agents, iTunes spoofing, and various other shortcuts this platform has to take to leech off of resources meant for other platforms.

Yeesh...even prematurely launched Windows Phone 7 had a native map application with directions, and it's about to get turn-by-turn. HP hasn't come up with one AT ALL for WebOS in nearly 12 months of post-acquisition ownership?

One word...nDrive...although it's kind of a new word, so maybe you aren't familiar with it yet. And before you say "yeah, but can you use it in webOS 1.4.x?" your post said "AT ALL".

Did HP come up with it? No. But do you remember what most folks who like webOS like about it? Too many things to cover here...but one thing is the openess of the OS. The ability for enterprising developers to get in there and freely generate their ides into workable usable applications for all to enjoy.

Openness? Not giving us a decent maps application has nothing to do with openness. That's called being a company that has no idea what they're doing. We have never had a decent free maps application; at least nothing like what Android or iOS offers. I'm leaving WebOS because of this. We have to do all of these work arounds to get what we want, when most of what we want is available on another platform in a tidy package (most of the time in better form).

Android is just as open as WebOS, Google does not lock down their OS. There are more active developers over at the XDA forums. And trust me, if Android was not widely adopted there would be more passionate users expressing their concerns. Did you read up on Google I/O 2011? Google has been encouraging homebrew and creativity. NFC tags and arduino-to-android wireless connectivity has gotten me really excited.

Before you tell me to get out, I'm only here in hopes that we get a miracle from HP.

My post said HP hasn't come up with one AT ALL. They haven't.

Citing nDrive is like citing Sprint Navigation. Fine third party apps of varied usefulness, but they are NOT integrated into the OS, and are a click/swipe or four away from being accessible when looking up an address through Web search or in an email or whatever have you.

Apple is developing native maps. Google...'nuff said. Windows Phone 7 not only has Bing, soon about to get turn-by-turn now, but they're getting Ovi maps from Nokia for all handsets as a native app next year.

You can cite "openness", but too much of WebOS' "openness" comes from gaping holes the parent company won't/can't fill. Third party solutions will always lag.

But what if you could integrate 3rd party nav apps into webOS? Other than on android, google maps is pretty useless. On iOS, I hardly even use it. It's in a junk folder.

I bet you will use Apple's solution because it is integrated and it is native.

I'm sure some silly HP exec will name drop "Navigation Synergy" and substantiate that with a glib "Stay Tuned!", but I don't see it going any further.

These are basics that should be a priority out of the gate. "Life Moves Fast...Don't Miss a Thing As You Are Walking Down The Street Being a Hipster...oh,'ll miss everything because you have no idea where you are going. Just drop $50 to nDrive. Problem Solved!"

I know,I was sort of snarking at you a bit. I felt you were being a bit overly expressive in your opinion. No worries though.

But, considering the number of apps that iOS and Android have, is the percentage of native apps vs. all apps available really that different between iOS, Android, Windows Mobile 7 and webOS? I'm curious...wonder if anyone has run the numbers on that.

Give webOS a year on hp devices, I think you will see some improvement. Maybe even a native webOS navigation system. But I agree with others, 3rd party apps can usually wow us more than native apps in any OS. For instance, does Android have a native office suite, or do they go with a known 3rd party like Dataviz because it's better than anything they can come up with (although they are probably quietly working in the back on their own...Google docs perhaps?)?

Google Nav might be the one exception I would currently allow, that's one fine native app! :)

Hi all.

Thanks you guys for all of your hard work! take care,


This is interesting, if you use Neato! to send the like it opens the Maps application with that interface.

ok, I did this, it works, but I guess I just don't see what's so great about it. you can't scroll around the map by dragging your finger, you can't zoom in or out using two fingers, etc. yes, the built-in google maps app is primitive, but this is no better. I must be missing something, because everyone else seems very excited.

It provides a lighter weight alternative to the notoriously sluggish built-in Google Maps app. Although I think that the app has improved a bit over the past two years so while this is an interesting find, it's not as good as having an improved native app but I can see why someone might want this for a quick look up of their current direction instead of the built-in app.

So, I just posted a reply to this, and was told it was marked as spam and wouldn't be displayed. A little help?

does latitude work with this?

True, Neato does launch the Google Maps app with the new interface, but it does not allow you to save the revised URL trigger on the launcher. You have to launch it via the browser to do so. {Jonathan}

I tried this on my Pre 2, and I really don't see a performance benefit over the stock app. I was on wifi and had a good GPS signal. Are there any particular features of the web version that are missing from the app? I agree that while I'm out and about using Edge (t-mo is my carrier, Pre 2 is unlocked) the maps app is slower than snot on a wall, but they both seem to depend equally on data connection speed.

seriously, i applaud the effort, but this just shows how bad the webOS map apps is.

...Or Richard Kerris could get off his lazy A** and get a better one made for webos.

Why do we have to rig all of our stuff to get it to equal iOS or Android.

Richard Kerris, I am challenging you, reply to me, I have a lot of questions for you that these fanboys would never ask,

Where are you Richard?????

youre an idiot

I'm an idiot? Why? Because I don't do backflips when something else is hacked onto our phones that other OS's get with out any effort? The developer community is awesome, but I am not going to accept them in place of a company that should support the devices they sold.

Is it because I don't Kiss HP's A** after they lied to me and lead me along then cancelled all updated for my phone 12 months into a 24 month contract?

I am the voice of the Users and Developers who are not going to accept being treated like SH** by HP. We are the customers, we are the voice.

People on here can drink the HP cool Aid all day, but I am calling out Richard Kerris right here, right now. Will all the new apps they develop for Touch Pad and Pre3 work on Pre-'s pre+'s? Or will we still be left in the cold, the way HP has done to us over and over. Also Richard, why no updated App store on legacy devices, or does that answer my first questions, no new apps for legacy devices?

By the way I am still waiting for flash on my pre- they was promised months after it's original release. And no, I don't want to hack my phone to 2.1 and lose my palm profile and re-purchase all my apps and lose my navigation.


your pre is severely outdated. youre not much of a voice if all you can do is comment on a blog and expect a big corporation to listen to you. if you really cared, how about you ramp up your efforts and do something that'll attract a bit more attention.

if you think all the new apps will work on your tired phones, you are the one drinking the koolaid. accept the facts and move on. that's like saying you want your vcr to play blu-rays. things change and hardware changes, why dont you realize that? yeah they've had their missteps with broken promises, but they dont care about you or the other 1% out there right now. they are starting fresh and leaving you behind, and they are fine with that. it's not worth it. your legacy device isnt all that great.

yeah flash, theres no way thatll run on the pre. flash asks a lot of devices and the pre cant support it. flash is outdated just like the pre.

there's a new generation of webos coming soon and if you keep on complaining about things that dont matter anymore to anyone, you will be bitter and left in the dust. ill say it again: all the pre's and the pre- and pre+, they dont matter anymore. accept it and move on.

Tell that to iphone 3gs users who still have support 3 years since introduction, he** even iphone 1 can run most iOS apps.

I'm not sure WebOS does have a future after HP took a flame thrower to all their developers and Device users.

But you can be perfectly happy being **** on by HP. It's your life.

yes, but the upcoming iOS 5 will not run on anything lower than iphone 4. gimme a break, this isn't the first time this kind of stuff happens. its inevitable because software and hardware are independent of each other. if you expect to buy a piece a hardware to use for the rest of your life, then that's the wrong way to go at it. so then you say, well, i wouldnt use it for that long, how long would i use it for...4 years? 8 years? be realistic. these are companies that have to make money. so yes, they are going to release new hardware and software every once in awhile (some longer than others, some shorter than others). but dont think for a minute that HP legally owes you anything because it misinformed the public. do you think that Leo needs to give everyone a voucher for a free touchpad because it said at one time devices would be available weeks after announcement? that certainly wasnt the case.

people make mistakes. and yes that flame thrower probably had a server attached to it somehow, because the developer community got that too.

you need some real education on how business works. when are you graduating from high school?

Go Rambo.

The fact that we can hack or patch WebOS is cool. But it's not cool that that we HAVE TO SO OFTEN for so many basic issues that HP should have fixed long ago.

I'm tired of cutting HP slack and offering excuses making such issues Google's fault or the carriers fault, etc.

on wifi with a pre plus 1.4.5

Still has alot of issues. Bad refresh, images not showing right. Great attempt but its still very poor. This is 2011 and smart phones still suck. I would think HP would have hired those people to spend a little more time on the older phones and fix this stuff.

Is it fixed on the pre 3 ?

Kind of hard to tell if its fixed on the Pre3 when it hasn't been released yet....

Its amazing the amount of hatred and selfishness in these comments.

Someone simply asked if there was a way to access the web version of google maps on their Pre.

I happened to accidentally come across it while making a mobile site at work.

Thats it. This is not some vendetta against HP or something. Some of you unfortunately need some professional help. :/

You bought a product that was designed in 2008 and released in june of 2009.

When your parents bought an 8-track player for their car in 1976, and the newer ones came out in 1978 with fast forward, rewind, speed select and tone controls, did they whine and moan that their 8-track player didnt have these features and demand they were added for free at a later date?

No. They did not. Technology progresses, thats just a fact.

You are in the middle of an acquisition of a company. To be honest HP has handled it amazingly. Do you think that Apple, RIM, or any other company would have given two **** about us if they acquired Palm?

HP has gone as far as to donate a server to us, and invite Rod to developer meetings. Apple would have had him arrested.

New awesome products are coming out VERY soon. The fact that they are coming out this close to acquisition is an amazing feat if you guys knew ANYTHING about company politics.

Your Pre- cant handle Flash. I am sorry but you bought a two year old piece of tech.

Newer versions of Google or Bing maps will come out.

I would please like to see a single document or press release from Palm saying "WE PROMISE YOU FLASH ON THE PRE-"

It never happened. They were working on it. We overhyped it.

I think you are being overly harsh, Mausser.

Noone is going to accept that things with HP are all warm and fuzzy. Even Google is promising at least 18 months support from their hardware partners. Hp can't even support their own hardware for 12 months?

What you are actually referring to in your post is the ever increasing dissatisfaction with the entire platform. Even the mighty Pre 3 is going to be obsolete before it is even released, hardware wise. The same tired old form factor rearing its ugly head once again. No choices relative to slate style phones. The Veer is only attractive to a very limited audience, which has yet to be identified.

Noone will dispute the elegance of WebOS, but in truth the only benefit when compared to other mobile OS on the market today is its multitasking capability, which will never be a major selling point to the average user.

Maybe the place where Hp will make some real inroads will be the tablet area, where Android has yet to make a convincing argument for their hardware\software combination. If the Touchpad launches with Flash integration, solid native PIM applications, and good multimedia support from HBO, Netflix, Slingbox, Nook, Kindle, etc then it might stand a chance. But that only applies if they can get all that on the device AT LAUNCH. If they release the Touchpad without all those consumer oriented capabilities and Android gets there first, then I fear the Touchpad will be yet another also-ran for the WebOS platform.

Initially the general WebOs users were excited for the platform, then they were hopeful, then disappointed. Unfortunately that disappointment has now turned to cynicism and disdain.

It will take nothing short of a miracle to get them back to hopeful. The Pre 3 is not that miracle.

Very well said sir, very well. And Mausser your response was just crazy, you should be ashamed of yourself for jumping down peoples throats for expressing their disappointment in HP/Palm.

I got the link to work on my pre but when I enter an address or when I search for directions nothing happens :(
Hope the Pre 3 gets a better map app!!


It would be really helpful if you would actually link to the post that you're talking about!

Its all about apps...apparently but on the Google maps front this could not be more true...I quick stepped to Android about a month ago and boy was I in for a big app wake up call...Google maps on Android is fkin amazing and is a top replacement for your car satnav and all for free...WebOS Gmaps is an embarrassment...along with many other out of the box apps.