Using the New Google Local for Mobile Phones

    April 19, 2005

Last week, Google announced that it had ported Google Local-the easiest way to find local business information on the net-to your mobile phone or device. If your device has an XHTML-supporting (WAP 2.0) browser and you have mobile web service with your wireless provider enabled, your life on the road just got easier!

I assume that most everyone is familiar with Google Local as used on the computer. If not, get to know it. It’s the easiest way to find business address and phone numbers for a specific location. I literally use it daily. Google Local for Mobile Phones gives you pretty much the same information, including maps and directions to the business you find.

To use Google Local for Mobile Phones, start up your device’s mobile browser and key in Follow the simple directions to enter your search query and location. You can type in the specific business name or the type of business you are looking for; for example, pizza’ or Momma Mia’s’.

Here are some sample screen captures from Google’s web site:

Google Local Image 1

From here, you can click the phone number to initiate a call to the business-if your phone supports this feature. The beauty of this is that you won’t pay the 411-charge the providers hit you up with. Mine charges $1.25! Since the monthly charge for my Mobile Web is just $5.99, not making five information calls pays for it.

Google Local for Mobile Phones also incorporates a ported version of Google Maps. If you look at the image above, you’ll see a small map of the surrounding area. You can use the Zoom in and out links to take a closer look or to broaden your view. You cannot move the map around with a cursor like you can on the computer, but can shift the map by clicking on the North’, East’, South’, and West’ links.

You can also get driving directions to the location. Just click the Driving Directions’ link located at the top of the page. You’ll be redirected to a new page with the business’ address in the End Address’ box. Enter your location in the Start address’ box and click the Get Directions’ button.

Google Local Image 2

There is also another route to Google Local result on your phone. You can go to the Google home page on your phone’s web browser (, type in your search term including a zip code or the city and state, then select Local,’ and local search results will appear at the top of your results.

If you’d like to get a feel for how Google Local for Mobile Phones works without using your mobile device, key into the address field of your computer. You’ll see the small displays of information similar to what you’ll see on the phone.

You can find more information about this new feature at Google’s Going Mobile – Local Search page. You can read the Google Local page for information about using the local service from your computer, much of which applies to the mobile version.

Mark Fleming is the founder of a new blog called Google Tutor & Advisor. Google Tutor & Advisor offers in-depth Tips, Techniques and Advice for Google Users.

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