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Wednesday, November 28, 2007, 12:00 pm PT (03:00 pm ET)

New Google Maps feature could simulate GPS on iPhones

A new version of Google Maps introduced this week includes a beta feature dubbed My Location that was designed to simulate the GPS experience on mobile phones and handheld devices that do not include GPS hardware, like Apple's iPhone.

Essentially, the My Location feature takes information broadcast from mobile towers near non-GPS equipped mobile phones to approximate the device's current location on the map down to about 10 city blocks.

"It's not GPS, but it comes pretty close (approximately 1000m close, on average)," the Mountain View, Calif.-based search giant explained on its website. "We're still in beta, but we're excited to launch this feature and are constantly working to improve our coverage and accuracy."

The My Location feature is currently available for most web-enabled mobile phones, including Java, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Nokia/Symbian devices. However, it is not yet compatible with Apple's iPhone.

Still, Apple has promised to continuously update and improve upon the feature set of its inaugural mobile handset, making it more than likely that the feature will turn up once it emerges from the beta stage.

For a more detailed explanation of My Location and a visual demonstration, please see the video below.