Use your phone to find local information
- User interface is easy to navigate
- Offers detailed information about businesses
- Integrated Web search tool
- Speech recognition
- Some functions and services only work in USA
Nowadays when most of us think of 'search' we think of Google, and now that the company's Android platform has been launched, it's even easier to find out information related to a particular area while you're on the move. That doesn't mean that other search providers should be discredited though, as Microsoft's Live Search Mobile proves.
Live Search Mobile is designed to help you find information that matters most while you're mobile. This includes maps, driving directions, details of local businesses and restaurants, movie show times, and cheap gas stations.
The Live Search Mobile interface is pretty easy to work with once you get used to it. You simply choose a location from the list, or set one by browsing to it on the integrated Live Earth map, before entering a business you want to search for. You can also browse for businesses by category, such as entertainment, government, services, travel, etc. Once a list of matching companies or services has been found, you can view their addresses and telephone numbers, which you can click on to make a call instantly. Alternatively, you can get directions to any of them, save it to your contacts, or send it via SMS to a friend.
I was impressed by the amount of results returned by Live Search Mobile, although this depends very much on where you are. If you're searching for places in the USA or UK, you'll usually get a wealth of information. However, it's much more difficult to get access to businesses and information in other countries, making it almost useless for residents of these countries or travelers visiting from abroad. This goes too for the extra functions in Live Search Mobile like gas prices, traffic information and movie listings, which are only available for the US. The Weather and Web functions do work everywhere, though.
Overall though, Live Search Mobile is a fantastic tool for looking up information on the go, especially if you in the US or UK.