Last week the MSN Mobile Search team announced the launch of the MSN Local Search beta for mobile devices. Currently it is only available in the US on Windows Mobile devices, as well as cell phones with WAP 2.0 browsers.
So what does it do? You can search for a restaurant, store, school, dentist, museum – basically, anything listed in the Yellow Pages and White Pages. Just enter your search term (i.e. “coffee” or “Victrola” ) and location (zip code, city/state or full street address) and hit the Search button. Your recently used locations are even stored and easily accessible the next time you use the service.
The search engine returns the first handful of results, including name, address, distance from your current location and phone number – which you can dial by clicking! Select the result name and you’ll see a page with more detail, including a color map. Select “get directions” and it will provide turn-by-turn driving directions between your starting location and result address (both editable). All of these features have been specially designed to work on your phone, requiring minimal interaction and optimized for speed and ease of use.
More features such as SMS and 'send to phone' will be added over the next few months.
You can check it out by browsing to http://mobile.msn.com/ with your mobile phone and select "Beta Services" from the main menu.