Users of Windows Mobile-based handhelds now have a new way to shop, travel and comb the surrounding area for anything they want. Earthcomber is a free service that started on the Palm-powered platform and is now migrating to the Windows Mobile Pocket PC and Smartphone realm.
Earthcomber appears like any other type of navigation software, except that its GPS-enabled maps for all territories in the USA are missing a price tag. All maps, “Look Lists” and “Community” features are entirely free.
Users can specify exact types of restaurants, shops, ATMs, hotels, landmarks and plot them on a map, as well as join or create groups that let them share or discover spots like where movies were shot, sites of public art or places to spot wildlife or enjoy dog parks, pictures, picnics, or freebies.
The new Windows Mobile version of Earthcomber includes a point-to-point direction feature that requires a phone or Internet connection. Earthcomber makes it easy to connect from a mobile device via the "WiFi hotspot location" data set included with every Earthcomber map.
Even for basic PDAs that do not have any WiFi connection, cellular service or GPS capability, Earthcomber can still provide “combing” or sweeps of a person’s current surroundings via its touch-screen maps calibrated to figure out distances. For instance, a person can simply plant their “X” by tapping the screen on the intersection where they are, or by looking up an address. Then Earthcomber reports any and all “hits,” just as if a GPS signal spotted the location on the map.
Users can also purchase a new breed of guidebook from publishers such as Mobil Travel Guides, Avalon Publishing’s Moon Metro Series, and Fairchild & Gallagher’s Where to Wear insider fashion shopping guides.
These guides feature unabridged versions of the paper editions, but empower them with GPS awareness and personalized search. Earthcomber Spot Guides range from free to US$19.85. Spot Guides let users customize their interests – and how far to search for each one – and then alert them when they come within a certain distance or nearby any location that has one or more of their personal favorites in food, shopping, public places, natural features, historic sites or private pursuits.
Earthcomber supports devices based on Windows Mobile 2003 and newer Windows Mobile versions.