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Windows Live Search For Mobile 2.0 Released

Windows Live for Mobile-slideshow

Version 2 of Windows Live Search for Mobile was released, bringing with it some improvements and enhancements. There are versions for Windows Mobile 2003, Windows Mobile 5 and above, J2ME, and Blackberry. There are new features and old ones I’ve decided to give a little more depth. I’ve got a slideshow GIF above and a rundown of each of the screenshots below. Go to wls.live.com on your device to download it.

Windows Live for Mobile 2 - (1)

The main menu. Note the new Movies icon. We’ll talk about that later. First, there’s a great feature that lets you find places by navigating through categories. Not only does this save you time typing (important on a mobile phone), but the organization makes it easier to browse and find things without having to be all specific with searches.

Windows Live for Mobile 2 - (2)

First you get categories of interest, then specific types within those categories. For example, in the Restaurant category, there are types of restaurants, like cafes and bagel places. You can navigate by tapping or with the directional pad.

Windows Live for Mobile 2 - (3)

Once you’ve gotten to the last category, you get a list of places in your area (something you can specify or choose at this point).

Windows Live for Mobile 2 - (4)

Choose one and you get a detail page on that place. You can choose to search near that place, save it, send it as a text message to a friend, or…

Windows Live for Mobile 2 - (5)

Get directions to it. These are turn by turn directions, and a click on the Map button…

Windows Live for Mobile 2 - (6)

And you get to follow it on a map, turn by turn. This map shows the map view, along with traffic conditions in red and yellow.

Windows Live for Mobile 2 - (11)

You can also switch to satellite map view. The text is surprisingly sharp, and the imagery isn’t bad either.

Windows Live for Mobile 2 - (7)

Now the cool new movie feature. Select it, and it gives you a list of movies in your area, and the other tab has a list of theatres in your area.

Windows Live for Mobile 2 - (8)

Tap a movie and get a detail page on the movie. Hit “More Movie Info” to go to a website about the movie.

Windows Live for Mobile 2 - (9)

Hit the theatres link for a list of theatres where it is playing, along with distance to there and showtimes, and get directions if you need them.

Windows Live for Mobile 2 - (10)

The preferences page is pretty smart. You see that you can use a GPS (only on Windows Mobile) so it’ll always know where you are for directions and searches, making this a damn cheap navigation system. You can also tell it to cache to your storage card, not waste space on internal memory. With a large storage card and the cache, performance improves significantly.

All told, it looks and works amazing. The older version was, on many features, better than Google Maps for Windows Mobile, and the new one is definitely the winner for now. If you have a compatible phone, go to wls.live.com on your phone to get it.

There has also been an update to the browser-based Live Search, with:

  • A Single Search Box: Tell us what and where, if applicable and you’ll get the most relevant results from Instant Answers, Local, Web, Images to News and Spaces … all perfectly formatted for your mobile phone.
  • Image Search: We’ve unleashed our image search capability on the mobile and you don’t even have to ask for it. Click on a result to see a copy of the image optimized for your your mobile (when necessary).
  • Instant Answers: We’ve reserved some premium real estate for Instant Answers we’ve all come to love. Currently, we offer weather, finance, movie show times and Encarta Instant Answers and there’ll be more to come.
  • Local Directory Listings: Get business and residential listings with ratings sorted by relevance. You can also narrow results by filtering on the most relevant categories!
  • Web, News & Spaces: Last, but not least, we automatically search web, news and spaces for relevant results. Should you click on a result within these scopes, we render the destination site for viewing on mobile.

July 18th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Windows Mobile, Maps, Live, Windows, Search, General | no comments



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