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Monday, 8th January 2007

Let's Review: A Busy Day for Mobile Search, News from Yahoo & Google, Review of What Others Offer

New Mobile Search Tools from Yahoo

First, a quick review. Mobile access can info can get complicated.

First, the main Yahoo.com mobile web site at http://wap.oa.yahoo.com, looks no different. The same services, same features that were in place yesterday. Included are beta versions of Yahoo photos, mail, and addresses. We are also continuing to occasionally see ads at the top of the page. Right now, we are seeing an ad for Cellfire (free mobile coupons). ResourceShelf first pointed out these types of links (they are not listed as sponsored links) about two weeks ago. Btw, we are accessing on the Sprint network.

Here's a screen cap of of what we're seeing today (note the ad or is it a promo? at the top) on the Yahoo Mobile site also available at http://m.yahoo.com.

So, what's new?

+ Yahoo Go 2.0 mobile
New Yahoo Mobile software will come "pre-loaded" on Motorola, Nokia, Samsung Electronics and Research In Motion (Blackberry) devices. It appears that those who use Treo's on the Palm platform will have to wait.

+ According to the news release, the Yahoo Go 2.0 will be preloaded onto phones in more than 60 countries. Samsung is first out of the gate releasing the SGH-E570 with the Yahoo search software (Yahoo Go and Yahoo onesearch).

But wait, Google has announced today that they're also working with Samsung and releasing a suite of their software on Samsung phones.

+ Yahoo is also touting how the software will offer "instant answers" not just links. Results will be grouped by subject. Mobile clustering? Ask.com's mobile site (no download required) offers its Zoom-related search features.

+ Also part of the software will be e-mail, messenger, personal information. As you'll see on this screen cap of the mobile site as of today, most of these services are already available.

+ OK, so you're not about to go out and get a new mobile phone or device. Can you still get access to Yahoo Go Mobile? This page has a checklist of phones that can load the program in the U.S. and Canada. If you're in Europe, review this page. Another way of checking is by entering your mobile number into the boxes on the right-side of this page OR by going to http://m.yahoo.com and seeing if the software will begin to load. More here.

Yahoo also has posted an updated page about web access to their mobile service. According to this page, Yahoo! Go will be "coming soon" to Yahoo! Mobile Web. Yahoo's SMS search feature remains available.

Other search and mobile companies offer software clients and other features. Here are a few examples:

+ 4INFO.net
Web, wap, and SMS versions also available.
+ Google Maps and Gmail offer mobile apps for some phones. Google also offers other services (including search) on its mobile site. Google also offers SMS search.

+ Microsoft provides a web-based mobile portal as well as a downloadable app for some devices. SMS too! This page reviews all of MSN's mobile services.

+ Ask.com launched a mobile site in the Fall at http://m.ask.com. It features driving and walking directions (with icons), some Smart Answers at the top of a results pages, Zoom-related search suggestions, and aerial imagery without having to download any application. A mobile version of Bloglines is also available.
Note: Gary is Director of Online Information Resources at Ask.com

+ AOL Mobile offers web search and a bunch of beta features including Moviefone listings, CityGuides. Also look for links to mobile MapQuest, AIM, and AIM pages (AOL's social network) site.

+ Infospace offers an app named InfoSpace Find It! A 60-day free trial is available for some wireless carriers and devices. A limited web-based version can be accessed here. Switchboard, another Infospace service, also offers a mobile site.

See Also: Official Yahoo News Release

See Also: Yahoo India Offering Free SMS Backup Feature


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