Google Revamps Mobile Search

Google has taken the wraps off a new version of its mobile search application, with an eye towards presenting information and search results catering specifically to the needs of mobile phone users—which are often quite different from users performing the same searches from a PC.

“We realize that when you’re on the go, you usually just want an answer to your query, rather than everything and the kitchen sink,” wrote Google product manager Yael Shacham in the official Google Blog. As a result, the new Google search application for mobile phone users works to provide succinct, relevant data on a search query—and offer that information with as few clicks as possible—rather than offering traditional relevancy-weighted Web search results which might be more appropriate for PC-based users.

New features in Google’s mobile search include a customizable home page, which enables users to list location-based weather information and movie listings alongside stock quotes, news feeds, and Web site updates. The home page information can be customized, modified, or replaced anytime. Also new to Google’s mobile search: the application remembers recent search locations so it can more easily display relevant search results without requiring users to re-enter their location every time. (Sadly, Google’s search application does not integrate with GPS-enabled mobile phones: although this might be a boon to privacy advocates, it does mean users need to enter new postal codes from time to time as they move to new places in order to have their search results tailored to them.) Google’s new search offering also defaults to mobile versions of Web-based services where they’re available, so (for instance) searching for the BBC or the U.S. Post Office will take users to versions of those Web sites designed for mobile phones.

The new version of Google mobile search is available to anyone via a Web-enabled mobile phone (or even an ordinary Web browser!).