AOL Tests Mobile Search
America Online plans to begin testing new mobile search services on Wednesday, as it continues to extend its reach beyond desktop PCs.
Users interested in testing the AOL search services need to have a mobile device that supports WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), says Himesh Bhise, vice president and general manager of the AOL Mobile unit.
The services currently aren't available via SMS (Short Message Service), he says.
Users can test the services by entering the following address in their mobile browsers: mobile.aolsearch.com. There, users will be able to query three AOL search engines: the general Web search index, the Pinpoint Shopping comparison shopping service, and the AOL Yellow Pages directory of local business listings.
AOL is providing these mobile search services in partnership with InfoGin, a developer of technology for adapting Web pages to the smaller screens of mobile devices.
Users interested in giving AOL feedback on their experience using these mobile search services can do so by going to beta.aol.com.
AOL will not charge for using these services, but mobile carriers may apply fees.
Mobile search is one of the new frontiers for search engines, as mobile devices become more powerful and prevalent. Google and Yahoo offer a variety of mobile search services. AOL already offers mobile search tied to its MapQuest online mapping service.