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Windows Live Search for Mobile (Beta)

December 18, 2006
Windows Live Search (WLS) has expanded their mobile search interface to some other Java enabled & Windows Mobile devices. The service has the right idea for mobile users with features such as predictive text insertion and retaining previous search entries, but the Java interface is a bit unwieldy for an inexperienced user as it can be confusing.
WLS gives the user the ability to enter in an address/location and.
  • get driving/walking directions to another address/location
  • find the nearest business, restaurant, post office, movie theatre etc
  • view maps of a particular address/location.
The good news is that it does show Australian maps and some local information, but the user must enter the full Australian address including the country name or the service defaults to US locations. For instance, I tried to get directions from my house to an address in Newport NSW Australia, but as I only put in the street number, name and suburb it defaulted to Newport Rhode Island in the US. This can be frustrating, but with correct data entry the results are impressive especially the driving directions & maps.
The mobile versions of WLS and Google Search are showing that the big boys don’t want to miss out on winning over the mobile user. As both services are quite close in functionality the winner will be the one that gives the best user experience.
My recommendation is to wait till the application and search algorithms are adapted further for mobile usage, but if you are adventurous and want to try this out now, then use your mobile’s QR Code reader on the code below to go directly there 


Posted by Shane Williamson.
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