I recently met a bunch of great guys (and gals) over in Search-land here at Microsoft that are working on the Live Search for Windows Mobile application.

So it was a pretty cool thing that last night they just released the final build of their version 1 product: Live Search for Windows Mobile. It's been in Beta for a little while, and I've been using it ever since it first went live.

It's an amazing application. With it I can:

  • Search for business listings (address + phone number)
  • Add items from the search results to my contacts
  • View maps (either road or aerial)
  • Get directions (either a simple list or turn by turn instructions on the map)
  • Integrate with my Bluetooth GPS receiver
  • See traffic reports

I simply love the application. I used it quite a lot when my family and I went on vacation to Hawaii (we stayed near Waikiki beach).

Our Hertz rental car had the Neverlost GPS system. Now typically, that’s pretty cool to have, but since I had been using Live Search for Windows Mobile, my wife and had some friendly “competitions” to see who could get the answer fastest. :-)

One of the problems with the Neverlost system in Waikiki is that the GPS signal strength, just wasn’t very good. There are too many skyscrapers, and getting Neverlost to lock on the required number of satellites, was painful. But, with Live Search for WM, getting turn by turn directions was a breeze. It made it really easy for us to find out just how far and exactly where Eggs-N-Things was for breakfast.

If you haven’t tried it out yet, be sure and check out Live Search for Windows Mobile. And … if you’re not lucky enough to have a Windows Mobile phone yet, they also have a version that supports a wide range of J2ME phones.