Searchme has announced that it’s on-line “visual search” service is now available as a downloadable app on the Nokia Ovi Store. Anyone with a Symbian-based Nokia S60 can pick the application up for free by pointing their browser at the content store.
What is Visual Search?
Simply, it’s a type of search that returns picture results. Instead of just delivering you a list of text links, Searchme shows a picture of the entire page. All of the pages returned by the search result are delivered as images, along with some text information, to give you a better idea if it’s what you’re looking for or not. Here’s a pic of it in operation on an N96:
And if you want to test it right now, here’s a link to the mobile version, hosted on-line: http://m.searchme.com/?vs=news I ran a search for GoMo News, and got the right result:
Of course, that’d look a lot prettier on a full touch-screen device. Now when you’re scrolling through that many pics, anyone would worry about speed issues. Searchme claims that by having their native app download low-res pics of the website for you to browse, it’s much faster than opening and rendering any of those pages would be on a regular browser.
From the release:
“Searchme is thrilled to be able to leverage the power of Nokia’s global scale in devices through participation in its Ovi Store, making Searchme available to over 165 million handset owners,” said Randy Adams, Searchme Founder and CEO. “With our easy-to-use visual search interface, Searchme is uniquely able to provide a superior search experience on cell phones for people who want quick page loads and immediate access to relevant information.”
What we think?
Ok, this isn’t exactly a new service – but that’s not really the point. Yes, we’ve been able to see this on iPhone, Blackberry and other popular smartphones before now. The Android version launched earlier this month. But it’s the attitude of Searchme that should be applauded. Too many times we’ve seen people release an iPhone app and then walk away, brushing their hands and saying “well, that’s the smartphone market handled”. The smartphone market is changing. Android is on the up, and while iPhone can expect to be top dog for some time yet, it can’t expect to maintain it’s current chunk of the market. And the more companies who get on board with that, and make sure their products are consistent across the entire smartphone market, the better that market will be.