Search engines want your phone

The battle to colonise the mobile space for search is hotting up. Both Yahoo! and Google have announced plans to extend their presence in the UK.

Following the launch of a similar personalised mobile service in the US at the beginning of the year, Google UK has followed suit and is now offering a number of its existing services through XHTML enabled mobile phones.

The Google Personalised Home delivers a version of a users’ Google personalised home page that users may already have on their desktop. It includes a number of Google’s services such as Gmail, customised news headlines from Google News, local weather and film listings, share prices and Atom and RSS feeds. However, any changes to the personalised service can only be made through the PC interface.

Google says that information is optimised for the smaller screens and slower bandwidth of most mobile devices and is presented in a format that reduces the need to click multiple links.

Google says that mobile Google Mail will automatically optimise the interface for the device you’re using and allows customers to reply to people who are held in the Google Mail Contacts list. The service is also able to open a limited range of attachments including .jpg, Microsoft Word and .pdf files. Google says that Gmail will work on most Web-enabled mobile devices that have a mobile data contract. If in doubt, contact your carrier.

Meanwhile rival Yahoo! has signed a deal with 3G phone carrier 3 to provide Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Mobile Web, Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Mail, and Yahoo! Go for Mobile across the service. The carrier says that by using Yahoo!’s expertise in transcoding online content for mobile devices it will allow 3 customers to access the entire world wide web from their handsets for the first time.

The companies also expect to launch additional Yahoo services across the network in the future.

The Yahoo! services are due to become available to 3 subscribers in the UK this summer. Other countries, including Italy, Ireland, Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Australia, are in line to receive the services in due course.

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