Mavromatic points out Microsoft’s beta release of their mobile search app — and it’s very impressive. Mapping (with Google-map-esque panning and zooming), driving directions which can be overlaid on said map, POI (points-of-interest) location search, and perhaps most impressively: ability to update location based on GPS and live traffic updates for certain cities (unfortunately not including Dallas). Apart from the traffic updates, I could get all of this previously by running Mapopolis, but that was a >$100 investment to get what this app provides for free.
The interface is very easy to work with, and the installation process was a breeze, tons easier than getting mobile Google maps to run… which is not entirely Google’s fault, but the efforts I had to go through for to get Google’s app running and the resulting user experience (including slow map downloads, inexplicable freezes, and having to install an alternate VM) made for a painful installation compared to this one — download, auto-install and run. The interface seems very snappy as well, even though I’m only using it on EDGE. I only used the Windows Mobile version on my T-Mobile MDA, but they also have a J2ME version which should give this app a pretty wide audience.
One thing to be aware of for those on pay-per-byte plans: The app is making multiple network calls (especially when scrolling a map), so you might need to manage your costs appropriately.
Download and install (for J2ME or Windows Mobile) by going to http://wls.live.com/ on your mobile device.