Ask Mobile : Ask.com On The Road
Ask.com has launched its new mobile search application, Ask Mobile, which is available for use at http://mobile.ask.com. Ask Mobile is designed to be somewhat of a mobile adaptation of the Ask.com user experience; with fewer keystrokes (or thumbstrokes), Smart Answers, Bloglines and other Ask.com tools.
“Mobile is an increasingly important access point for searchers,” said Jim Lanzone, CEO of Ask.com. “The new Ask Mobile makes it easy for users of Web-enabled cell phones, PDAs and other mobile devices to take advantage of the world-class relevance and industry-touted search tools offered by Ask.com.”
From Ask.com, key features of Ask Mobile are as follows:
Special Interface for Mobile Users
Ask Mobile offers links to key search categories directly from the home page, making it easier to navigate to relevant results. The design saves significant keystrokes for many searches; for example, looking for the weather in the 94114 zip code requires 50 percent fewer keystrokes on Ask Mobile compared to mobile products offered by other major search engines. Fewer keystrokes is an extremely important concept when considering the difficulty of typing on mobile devices and the absence of full-sized keyboards.
“Ask Mobile is designed specifically for search on mobile devices, instead of shoehorning a PC interface into a mobile product,” said Doug Leeds, vice president of product management for Ask.com. “Extensive testing showed that, by eliminating the search box from the home page and instead providing links to key search services, users were more successful in getting to what they were looking for, significantly increasing their satisfaction.”
Ask Mobile utilizes Skweezer technology that “skweezes” Web pages to present content in a format that is easier to view and navigate on small displays and increases download speed. With the Skweezer technology, Ask Mobile allows more access to Web content by allowing pages to load that would otherwise be too memory-intensive for most mobile devices.
Powered by Ask.com’s proprietary ExpertRank algorithmic search technology, Ask Mobile provides users with highly-relevant search results, bringing authoritative sites within their topic community to the top of the results page, rather than simply ranking sites by their link popularity on the Web at large.
Ask Mobile provides direct access to important mobile search categories on the home page, including Web Search, Directions, Images, Business Listings, Maps, Weather, Bloglines, Area Codes, Currency Conversion, Horoscope and Time Zones. Additional services, such as sport scores and movie times, will follow the initial rollout.
Barry Schwartz gives the new Ask Mobile a nice look thru over at the Search Engine Watch Blog.