Mobile networking is rapidly overgrowing desktop navigation and one of the main uses of it is for searching for relevant and urgent information.
Search Engines are the most visited websites through mobile devices (Google Insights).
Mobile search is not just a part of web search engines anymore, instead it has grown as a specialized branch of mobile content for itself that is rapidly growing. Mobile search engines are the gateway to mobile content for most users. Google is the undisputed leader of desktop search engines, but when it comes to mobile searching, the battle for the throne is still raging and finally the one that provides the most relevant results wins. Understanding how users search through their smartphones is the key to the mobile search approach, for instance, location is an extremely important factor in mobile searches.
Let’s take a look at some of the best search engines available for mobile devices and analyse their features.
Top 10 search engines for mobile devices
Google Search (iPod / Android)
Google is still among the great giants of searching, for mobile devices too. The Google Search app has a beautiful simple and clean interface with a search field and links to other applications, voice search and Google Goggles, a feature that lets you snap a photo to find information about products, landmarks, etc. The auto-complete feature suggests terms as you type, reducing search time by cutting spare typing.
Yahoo! Search (iPhone / Android)
Yahoo offers a unique approach to the way they show mobile results, offering a map with a link to directions and a CTC button when looking for local results, it is a very useful feature, but the application does not offer anything else different from other applications. It also provides a link of trending searches when you access the application.
Bing Mobile (iPad / iPhone / Android)
Bing’s mobile application has a nice and sleek look, rapid access to images, videos, maps, etc. It shows the results that your Facebook friends liked and has Bing Vision, a feature that lets you recognize bar and QR codes, book covers, pictures, etc.
Ask Mobile (iPhone / Android)
Ask is not a traditional search engine. It is based on questions the users ask and show web results other users responses as an answer. You can either type a question or use voice search.
Duck Duck Go (iPhone / Android)
Duck Duck Go is not different from any standard search engine in terms of results, but it has some unique features that make it worth trying. It uses over 50 information sources to give you relevant data just above links, so you don’t have to spare clicks. Also it does not track you, providing total privacy.
Topsy is, as they call themselves, a social time machine, which means it is a search engine based on social media sites. It shows results based on popular links and the influence of the people who cites them, and enables users to show those results on a timeline. It does not have an app, but Topsy’s site is nicely adapted for mobile devices.
ChaCha (iPhone / Android)
ChaCha is a search engine that answers questions based on a “human search engine” with location-based features. It accepts text or voice queries and provides a text response back. ChaCha is free for the moment and supported by ads. ChaCha can be faster than regular smartphones search engines, but sometimes it takes minutes to answer a question and it only gives one response for query.
Wolfram Alpha (iPhone / Android)
Wolfram Alpha directly answers factual queries. It also offers multitude of features, including plotting graphs, calculations and technical data about anything you can imagine. It is more than a search engine, it does not only gives you links, it gives relevant data and information. The interface is very simple, clean and, just as the application, efficient.
Blekko (iPhone / Android)
Blekko is a spam-free search engine that allows vertical searches based on the use of slahstag (like the folders on a computer). The application suggest its own slashtags and lets you navigate from one to another.
Dogpile is a metasearch engine, it instantly searches through seven popular search engines and decides which results are the more relevant to your query. Among its features are web and image search, camera scan and sharing options.