New features include free access to maps, driving directions business name lookups and category searches. In an effort to anticipate some of the adoption barriers that have stood in the way of wide scale mobile local search adoption, the service is available as an application download (compatible with about 100 cell phones) and a browser based version that will work on any web enabled mobile device. The latter will likely be less robust than the former, but casting a wider net with this dual mode approach will appeal to a broader swath of the 15.7 million mobile internet users in the U.K. (Yell's estimate).
This move could signal that Yell's U.S. subsidiary YellowBook will do something similar in the near future. This also comes days after YellowPages.com announced that it will enhance its MEdia Net mobile local search product for AT&T Wireless customers. Like Yell.com's offering, this includes mapping and search enhancements including a single search box for local business searches. It also boasts shortcuts to items of interest that are dynamically featured based on seasons or upcoming holidays. Read the press release here.