Google's new local search for mobile devices is garnering a lot of press, but there are a lot of other alternatives that are worth a look.
Chris wrote about Google's new offering last week in the SearchDay article Google Debuts Local Mobile. Here's a roundup of other mobile local search tools for users in the U.S.
Google's SMS service has offered local info since it launched last summer. Two other services that I've used also offer local info via SMS. They are 4info.net and Synfonic. Vazu.com allows you to cut and paste material from any web page and send the content via SMS.
YP.com provides several services for mobile web users including white and yellow pages, reverse phone and address look-up, neighbor look-up and maps with driving directions.
The MSN Mobile site does not offer local business info but does provide maps and driving directions.
AOL's mobile portal offers a searchable yellow pages database.
Infospace Mobile offers driving directions, yellow pages and other services.
Maporama, a great site for maps and driving directions (global in scope) provides a mobile version of their service for Palm and Windows devices with wireless web access.
And be sure to check out Yahoo's offerings. Local service has been a part of the Yahoo Mobile web site since October 2004. Yahoo Local Mobile lets you save various locations, allowing you to search local info quickly for more than one location. For example, I have my neighborhood, a nearby Zip Code, and a Chicago suburb where my parents live and I visit often all saved and ready to go. Results pages contain hyperlinked phone numbers that dial the number with just a click (some phones don't offer this feature.
Yahoo's local mobile information pages contain:
- Name of business, service, etc.
- Cross streets (near the location)
- Link to click and access driving directions (recent locations are saved to save typing time)
- Map, which unlike Google's maps, you cannot make larger, change location and so on.
Remember, the web version of Yahoo Local also allows you to send the entry to your mobile device via SMS text messaging. Now, with that same click you can also send yourself a direct link to access a map and driving directions.
NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.