Until the launch of the iPhone, I’d all but given up that we’d ever really see cell phones become a legitimate replacement for our desktop or laptop computers. Mobile technology just wasn’t satisfying when it came to web browsing or information look-up.
I still don’t own an iPhone, but I do own a BlackBerry and today Microsoft’s Tellme unit launched a new Blackberry application that lets you speak commands and look up all manner of useful information.
Once users download the program, they can push on their phone’s green "talk" button and say either the name of a business, type of business, or the keywords "weather," "movies," "traffic," "map" or "driving directions."
Using GPS, the system figures out where the user is located and delivers nearby results from Microsoft’s Live Search engine to the smart phone’s screen, along with links to call, get directions, buy movie tickets and other related actions.
My heart rejoiced, then sank again. While Tellme could be a very useful service, it’s battling against mobile networks that cripple handsets–my Verizon Blackberry has its GPS disabled by the network.
Maybe we’ll have to wait for Google’s Android to take mobile surfing to the level beyond the iPhone. Until then, it just feels like the advancement of mobile technology–and with it, mobile marketing–will advance no further than an "asthmatic ant, with some heavy shopping."