3 New Updates to Live Search Mobile

On Monday the 15th we also released a number of updates for our Live Search Mobile products, including:

  • Voice input and gas prices in Live Search for Windows Mobile,
  • A new beta for BlackBerry devices, and
  • Improved mapping and directions in browser-based search for any mobile phone

Details are below – please check them out and let us know what you think!

Voice Input and Gas Prices Now in Live Search for Windows Mobile

Live Search has been a hit with Windows Mobile enthusiasts (read a few reviews here and here) for awhile now.  It’s a great way to get local search, mapping and navigation and today we’re making it even better. 

You can now speak your query instead of typing it!  Just press the lower left soft-key and say what you want, for example, “Anthony’s Pizza” or “Hardware Stores”.  We use advanced voice recognition technology to understand what you’re asking for and give you results. 

So far we’ve found it to be a really fast way to get answers for most searches.  This feature is currently in beta so let us know how well it works for you!  If it doesn’t recognize something you say, of course you can still type it in like you used to.

Gas prices

Another new feature is the ability to find nearby gas stations with the best prices.  Enter your location, select the Gas Prices icon, and you’ll see gas stations sorted by recent prices for regular unleaded gas.  Hours of operation are now included for many restaurants as well.

You can download the latest version from your phone at wls.live.com or read more information from your PC.

New – Live Search for BlackBerry® devices (Beta)

Today we’re also releasing a beta version of Live Search for our friends with BlackBerry devices.   It runs on BlackBerry version 4.0.2 and higher and provides the main benefits** of Live Search in an experience custom-designed for the BlackBerry.

Live Search on BlackBerry

You can download it now from your BlackBerry browser at wls.live.com or learn more on your PC. Please let us know what you think!

** The BlackBerry version provides local business search, mapping location, getting movie showtimes and traffic information. It does not include voice input, gas prices, business ratings and hours of operation at this time. 

Improved Mapping and Directions in Live Search via mobile browser

Our browser based mobile search at m.live.com is the core of our mobile search products.  It’s available on any mobile phone with Internet access and searches the broadest types of information-including websites, images, and news, as well as local businesses, maps, directions, and more.

We’ve made a number of improvements to it-especially in mapping and navigation.

Current traffic conditions

We’re using new map styles throughout this product that make the maps even more readable on small screens.  Our directions now also take into account current traffic conditions-and if traffic is especially bad you can choose to have the system reroute you to avoid traffic backups. 

Driving directions

We’re also using the same driving direction hints as on the desktop version of Live Search Maps.  These hints give you the final cross streets in your route so you don’t drive too far.

Weather

Frequently accessed information like weather, stock quotes, and movie times will automatically appear on the main results page when you search for them.

To try it, go to m.live.com from your mobile phone’s Web browser to try it for yourself, or learn more from your PC.

Please send any feedback you have to lsmobile@microsoft.com, we’d love to hear from you!

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