Searchme Inc. has released a beta version of Searchme. Billed as an "innovative mobile search experience with a fun, easy to use interface specially designed for touch screen handsets running on the Windows Mobile platform", Searchme delivers results in web page thumbnail form as well as text descriptions. The results can be thumb panned horizontally or a pop-up menu can be used to scan through the results. Results yielding video or music can be played from the search page.
“Since launching our mobile app a few months ago, we had an overwhelming response from people who love the idea of a richer, more visual search experience on their phones. We’re very excited that we’re now able to introduce millions of Windows Mobile users to this superior mobile search experience that delivers quick page loads and immediate access to relevant information,” said Randy Adams, Searchme Founder and CEO.
For our impressions on the Beta version and some screen shots, follow the break.
Keep in mind that Searchme is a Beta application and has some bugs to iron out. In trying it on the AT&T Fuze, the "Start" menu banner would overlap the application, hiding the search entry field. By default, the soft keyboard is hidden which is easily fixed by going into options and changing the setting.
However, when you do show the soft keyboard, the pull-up button for the keyboard hides the search result link. There is a drop down bubble menu titled, "select category" which allows you to narrow your results. At times this menu didn't appear and it may very well be the possibility that there were no sub-categories to search from.
The search speed was good, not as fast as other search engines but then again, other engines don't pull up the amount of graphics Searchme does. I have to admit it was nice seeing the thumbnail of the web page along with the text description.
To go to a search result, you can double tap on the results or tap and hold on the web page image in order to pull-up the navigational menu and choose "browse". A navigation bar at the bottom of the screen might have been a better option. I have yet to find a method of playing videos or music from the search results as billed. The thumbnail view of the webpage isn't interactive but can be zoomed in to see more detail.
Searchme has potential but there were simply too many graphical/layout errors and navigation wasn't that smooth. It is a Beta and if Searchme Inc. can iron out some of these bugs, you might have a nice application.
If you're interested in giving Searchme a try, you can find the Beta download at Searchme.com under the Tool Section of the main page. One note with regards to installation, you will need Microsofts' NET framework installed. If you don't, the installation wizard will directed you to NET framework's download site.