I first read about KMaps several months ago on the Treonauts blog. Having gotten hopelessly loss recently while traveling out of town, I decided to hunt it down and get it fired up on my phone.
KMaps brings the power and ease of use of Google Maps to your Treo smartphone (and coming soon to Blackberry as well). It has a simplified user interface tailored to mobile use, but basically provides the same tiled mapping interface (minus the satellite and hybrid views) as the brower-based verion.
KMaps is a java application, so you’ll need to install the IBM Websphere Anywhere Micro Edition Java virtual machine recommended by Palm. This software was included on the Software installation CDROM that came with the Treo, but can be downloaded for free by navigating to http://www.palm.com/us/support/jvm/ , filling in the form, selecting your device and downloading WEME571.zip and following the installation instructions (they are fairly simple).
Once Java is installed and configured by changing the Java memory and thread size parameters, you are ready to install KMaps. Withing a few seconds of installing the app by syncing my phone, I was pulling up a Google map of my house and plotting directions to the offices of my next prospective client.
My wife and I were in downtown Denver last night for an anniversary dinner and we used KMaps to find the exact address and phone number of the restaurant. I’m only sorry I didn’t have this a few weeks ago to save me some frustration while driving around Atlanta.
The best thing about KMaps is that, for now anyway, its totally free. You will need a decent data plan, of course, but what avid Treo user doesn’t already have one of those?
KMaps has been so succesful that it was recently acquired by ULocate. The developer of KMaps, Ivan Mitrovic, is in the process of testing out the port to Blackberry and I’m sure he’ll be expanding KMaps more in the future.
You can download KMaps from the ULocate KMaps downloads page.