I was sitting at my daughter’s soccer match yesterday and slightly bored, I started to play with the browser on my old Nokia 3600 cell phone.
I explored MSN (it didn’t work) and the Yahoo interface (not bad) but I was struck by the incredible improvement to the speed and quality of the interface to Google. It was fast (on a slow connection with a cheap data plan), customizable and (despite the limits imposed by a cell phone keypad) allowed me full access to all of the new universal data types and data sources particularly local data. Here is some information from Google site. Their plans were announced in early April.
It is not clear when this change was rolled out but I am struck by 1)its similarity to the Universal Search initiative and 2)that it really works on my xhtml browser at very slow speeds. The interface works incredibly well and (almost?) conquers an interface that had seemed intractable to me. I (and others if they find out about it) might just start doing local searches on my cell phone.
From their website:
Just launched! An even better way to search on the go.
We’ve been working to make searching with Google on your mobile device even better. Check out the new search experience that delivers the following features:
Faster and more relevant results
New search features reduce the number of keystrokes needed to type a query, quickly getting you the information you want. Advanced search technology serves the best possible search results depending on the your query and situation; whether youâ€™re looking for local listings or images, web pages or web pages designed specifically for mobile devices, the new search experience will intelligently serve you the right results – so that you get to the information you’re looking for faster and easier.
Add modules to personalize your search page
If you’re always looking for weather updates – why not add a permanent weather module onto your search page? Now you can add modules directly onto your search page such as weather, stock market updates, website feeds or news snippets – without having to register for or log into a Google account.
The new search stores your most recently searched locations, making it faster and easier to get information the next time you search on Google. Searching for a local listing will provide results relevant to your set location. A dropdown box then allows you to change your default location to a list of previously searched locations, or you add a new location to the list.
You can view the interface in your desktop browser at http://www.google.com/xhtml .