Google has introduced a new search service that lets people with mobile phones access an index of web pages specially designed for the mobile phone's smaller screen size.
Many websites have realigned text, graphics, and tables so they're easy to navigate on a mobile phone. Google's search only links to pages that have been formatted for display in mobile devices' small screens.
To access the XHTML-based service, users need to have a mobile device with a Web browser and enter a query in the search box at http://www.google.com or http://www.google.com/xhtml.
The Wev gets mobile
Mobile users can already perform searches from these locations, but on Thursday, Google added a new "Mobile Web" option to the pages. When this button is selected, users will only receive links to pages that have been formatted for the smaller displays of mobile devices.
Other options available to mobile users are "Web," to run a query against the full Google Web index, "Images," to search for pictures, and "Local," to hit Google's business directory for local merchants.
Google also offers a similar Web search service for phones that support WML (wireless markup language) instead of XHTML (extensible markup language.) However, WML doesn't support images, so searching for pictures isn't possible using this service, which is available on a mobile device's browser at http://www.google.com/wml. The Mobile Web option is not available on WML phones.
If a user is unsure which markup language his phone supports, Google suggests trying both google.com/xhtml and google.com/wml to see which one works.
Google's mobile service already includes Google Local, Image Search and Web Search, and Google SMS, a text messaging based service.