Friday, December 1, 2006
Windows Live Search for Mobile
Posted by Darius Wey in "SOFTWARE" @ 09:30 PM
News of the availability of a beta version of Windows Live Search for Mobile surfaced this week, and we took the opportunity to give the application a test run. Learn more about it after the break. <!>
Windows Live Search is a very well-designed application that leverages the power of the Windows Live Local service. It offers four components: categorical-based searching, aerial and road mapping, driving direction searching, and traffic information.
With a city selected, you can flip through a number of categories to search for locations of interest (hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants, shopping centres, government and community centres, etc.).
The mapping feature is very similar to what's offered in Virtual Earth Mobile. It taps into the same Live Local service, and offers both aerial and road maps.
The zooming effect is animated (similar to using your scroll wheel in Live Search on your PC), and works very well with D-pads (up, left, right, and down for moving around the map; the action button for zooming in).
You can also fetch driving directions from Point A to Point B, no matter how far apart they are (well, within reasonable limits). ;)
Fetching is relatively quick. The application uses the same spinning circle seen in the Xbox 360 and Zune.
And voila: driving directions!
But plain text is no fun, so Windows Live Search for Mobile offers route mapping functionality...
... which happens to support both aerial and road maps.
You can also retrieve traffic information for most major cities.
Contrary to popular belief, Windows Live Search for Mobile works for cities outside of the United States, though searching may be limited, so you'll probably find yourself using it for maps and nothing else. It's free, and very well put together, so go grab it today. A web-based version of Windows Live Messenger for Mobile is also available. Check Geekzone for a screenshot of the service on Pocket PCs.