An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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January 30, 2008

Tips for Google Mobile Search

Google's mobile search engine (google.com/m) has a lot of features that aren't available in the regular desktop interface. Its latest interface was launched in March last year in the US and yesterday in the UK, France, Germany and Canada. The main change in Google's mobile interface is the integration between the web results, images, news and local results, which are displayed on a single pages, based on their relevance to the query. Here are some features specific to Google Mobile Search:

1. Information about sports: European football, NBA, NHL and more.


2. Optimized calculator that shows the results in a search box so you can use them for other calculations.


3. Weather conditions for airports


4. Since Google shows the transcoded version of search results, it can improve the way you access the web pages. If the results are very big, Google splits them in several pages and it can send you directly to the section that is the most relevant to your query.

5. The phonebook listings let you call people directly from search results, the same as Google's local search results:


6. Google promotes the site specifically designed for mobile phones and you can recognize them by looking for a small phone icon next to the snippet.

7. You can hide the images from search results by clicking on "Hide Images" at the bottom of the page. Google only shows thumbnails, which load faster and are more appropiate for small screens.

8. If you enter your location on the homepage, you won't have to add it to your queries. Since Google knows you're in Boston, you should only enter "weather", "movies", "book stores" etc. Google also saves your recent locations and they're accessible from a drop-down next to each group of local search results.

9. Google reformats the links to point to the transcoded versions so you can use Google Mobile Search as a bridge between your mobile browser and the web. You won't be able to access through Google Mobile Search secure web pages and some web pages lose their functionality as Google removes embedded objects, JavaScript code, tables etc. There's also a simple interface for Google's transcoder that lets you enter a URL.

10. If you have a mobile browser that is able to display web pages, you can disable Google's transcoder by going to Settings and deactivating "Format web pages for your phone". You can also go to the standard Google interface by selecting "View Google in... classic" at the bottom of Google's homepage.

This blog is not affiliated with Google.