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Google makes new alliance with Motorola
If you just thought Google was everywhere, get ready to add your cellphone to that list of mediums the information search giant is moving towards.
At the Consumer Electronics Show Las Vegas last week, Google, Inc. and Motorola, Inc. announced a joint venture between the two companies, allowing access to Google’s vast database of information on new Motorola handsets.
Motorola will add a new Google icon to select handsets, starting early this year.
The icon will allow users to connect directly to Google anytime, anywhere, at the click of a button.
"Many of our customers have been asking for mobile devices integrated with their consumers’ favorite online services. By featuring Google on Motorola handsets for these customers, we are making it easier for consumers to connect to the information they need when they need it," Scott Durchslag, corporate vice-president and general manager of Global xProducts for Motorola’s Mobile Device business said. "Our relationship with Google provides an opportunity for us to offer a high quality mobile search experience – one familiar to and loved my millions of users across the globe."
But merging Google with consumer cellphones is nothing new.
The search engine, founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, can be accessed from any cellphone with Internet access, allowing users to connect to Google’s web search features.
Just type www.google.com in the URL field of your phone’s Internet browser. If you get an error message, type www.google.com/xhtml instead.
From the basic web search, consumers can find recipes, sports scores, trivia answers and more. The search page works just like the online version of the site, which is used by millions of users everyday.
Need a definition of a word? Just type "define (word)" in the search field.
Want the correct spelling of a word? Just type the word and Google will give you a suggested spelling if the word entered is not found in its database.
Want movie times? Just type "movies" or "showtimes" followed by the location.
Want weather? You guessed it, just type weather and the location.
Finally, for those needing quick stock updates, just type the stock ticker symbol for the latest updates.
The company has also recently added options for Google Local and Mobile Web to their mobile page, which greatly expands the company’s offerings.
Google Local allows users to find maps, directions and phone numbers to businesses and places worldwide.
Simply select the local option on the search page and type your destination.
For example, McDonalds 75165 or McDonalds, Waxahachie, TX will give you a listing and directions to all the McDonalds in and around Waxahachie.
The Mobile Web option allows users the ability to filter search results to websites customized for viewing on mobile phones.
Google doesn’t charge consumers for access to any of its databases, but users may be required to pay access fees to their cellular provider, depending on their service plan.
For those without net access, the company also offers Google Local information via text messaging.
Simply text your queries to 46645 from any cellphone with text messaging support.
A text response will be sent to your phone, usually within seconds.
And for consumers who use Google’s blog service, Blogger.com can post text or photo updates to their blogs with text messaging from their cell phones as well. Information for mobile blogging is available at www.blogger.com/mobile-start.g.
So with all these features already available too most cellphone users, why the global alliance?
"Access to information is imperative for people on-the-go. Whether checking the local weather or locating the restaurant of their choice, consumers today require personalized services that are tailored to their needs," Vice-President of Google’s European Operations said.
And with the quick, one-button access on cellphones, Google will be able to expand their user base and increase brand loyalty which will in turn help drive Google’s real moneymaking venture -- advertising.
The alliance will also help increase Motorola’s plans for a seamless, flowing mobility experience.
The company announced part of its vision for the future in 2004, with phones that pay for parking without touching a key, cars that know where you’re supposed to be and how to get there, homes that record your favorite tunes and movies and share them with your friends and products and systems that carry intelligence into your life.
It’s all part of the future of converged devices bringing more and more information to our fingertips.