Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Microsoft Mobile Live Search

Ok Google. I generally love all your products. Heck even this blog is done using google. But I have to be honest and say that I think Microsoft has got you beat with their latest version of Live Search for mobile devices.

I just discovered this a few days ago after installing a new rom update on my Mogul. Prior to this I've used google maps and goog411 and I was happy with both. But the map on the MS live search has some really nice pluses that google (should copy) doesn't have.

If you have a device that has GPS, it will make use of that. Not only that but instead of just marking your current location as a dot on the map, it uses an arrow which will indicate which direction you are going in. Very useful if you accidentally make a wrong turn. But it gets better. It will also give you turn by turn directions to get to your destination, just like google maps. However, it will give you an audible prompt when you are coming up to the next turn. And it gives you a running countdown in both distance and time until the next turn.

And you can use those abbilities when you use the gas search to find the cheapest gas within a few mile radius of you. Or maybe you want to find the showtimes for the local theaters near you. It will pull those up too and then once you've selected which theater, you can click to either call the theater or have it route directions from your current location to the theater.

And if you are driving and are one of those people smart enough to not type on your phone while driving, you can search via voice. There's no special voice training or voice tags to create. You just say what it is you are looking for and it will find what's relevant. I just searched for 'chinese resturant' and it correctly understood that and returned the 25 closest resturants. I then picked one and had the option to call it, get directions to it, save it or send the info for it as an SMS to a friend.

I hate sounding like some Microsoft fanboy, but it looks like they really outdid google for a mobile search package.

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