by Al Sacco

BlackBerry Users Get a Gaggle of New Google Mobile Features

Jun 27, 20083 mins
Consumer ElectronicsMobileSmall and Medium Business

Google mobile search gets more BlackBerry-friendly, with improved results, enhanced navigation and related search terms. If you're searching the Internet with your RIM smartphone, the user experience should get a lot better.

Yesterday, search giant Google launched a number of enhancements to its U.S. mobile search results pages for Research In Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry browser, resulting in more types of results being displayed on single pages, including images, Web and news, as well as lists of related queries.

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The tweaks come on the heels of a number of similar changes meant to enhance the Google mobile search experience for smartphone users. Earlier this month, Google modified its home page to speed up load time for mobile devices, but the company has also been busy making device-specific enhancements such as iPhone Google News search, international search shortcuts for Nokia phones and a Windows Mobile Google plug-in.

Many of the new BlackBerry-browser-specific changes copy the functionality of Google’s current desktop search. They are as follows:

  • A wider variety of result types for search queries. When BlackBerry users surf to and search, they now will find results from Google’s product, blog and news archive engines instead of just Web or current news results.
  • Simpler selection of result types. More kinds of search results may appear on query pages, but they are easier to navigate. That’s because of text at the top of each results page links directly to, say, Google News or image search results.
  • More text from Web pages displayed within results. Along with a headline and link to relevant stories, the results pages show more text from those stories. You are more likely to find what they’re looking for without ever leaving Google.
  • Related search terms. At the bottom of any results pages, BlackBerry browser users will now find a selection of related search terms to help tweak queries.

“We have taken desktop elements that have tested well on mobile and further optimized them for the mobile use case,” reads a post on the official Google Mobile blog. “Improving mobile search is a continuous process and we hope you find the releases this past month to move the needle on what we care most about: quality, speed and ease of use.”

(The video demo below shows some of the new Google mobile BlackBerry features in action.)

New Google Mobile Features on BlackBerry

On the BlackBerry front, Google also offers a tool to help RIM smartphone users locate all of its available mobile search services and ensure those services are up to date. The free Google Mobile Updater application, currently available only to BlackBerry users, includes several features:

  • makes it simple to download and access Gmail;
  • Google Sync lets you sync your Google Calendar with your BlackBerry;
  • Google Reader, a mobile RSS reader;
  • Google Docs, a Web-based documents application;
  • the Picasa photo app;
  • the Google Maps mapping application;
  • and both Google Web and News Search engines.