Oct 12, 2009 at 9:47am ET by Greg Sterling
While search is the front door to the internet on the PC, the same cannot be said of mobile devices. Apps, bookmarks and other ways to access content have become at least as useful as the Google search box on a mobile device. While Google will laugh at anyone who publicly tries to suggest as I have that search may not turn out to play as central a role in mobile as it does on the desktop, Googles actions suggest that they’re hedging their bets and may not think I’m entirely crazy. Search on a mobile device is getting better and more usable; but “10 blue links” doesn’t work on even a smartphone handset. In recognition of the challenge of keying in queries and sifting through links, Google has moved voice to the forefront as a search interface.
It has also integrated alternative ways read: browse nearby to get to local content, which account for the capabilities and limitations of the device:Picture 24Android devices have both a search button on the hardware and a big search field on the home screen. That prompts users to search more frequently but has still not made search quite as useful on the mobile handset. Now Google has introduced what it’s calling Quick Search Box. Similar to Apple’s Spotlight on the iPhone, it enables users to retrieve contacts, email and apps. But it moves beyond Spotlight in fetching content from the internet without launching a browser. It also enables users to get content within apps, also unlike the iPhone.