The company's revamped YahooSearch app and Sketch-a-Search---unveiled at the CTIA powwow--- illustrate that Yahoo is serious about mobile search. Yahoo got out to an early start with mobile search, but is facing an onslaught from Google, which is a default search on many phones and integrated with the increasingly popular Android operating system.
Another wild-card is Yahoo's mobile search prospects in light of the 10-year pact with Microsoft. In a statement, Yahoo clarified its mobile approach.
Yahoo will continue to innovate and own the mobile user experience. We will carefully consider whether and how to implement Microsoft’s mobile search services, and our approach may differ on a country-by-country basis.
Microsoft will make available their Mobile Search Services and Yahoo may elect to implement them at any time on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis during the term of the agreement. As with the broader agreement Yahoo will continue to innovate and "own” the mobile user experience on Yahoo.
Of the two apps, the Sketch-a-Search sounds the most interesting. In a nutshell, an iPhone user can draw a boundary on a map and find local businesses within that location. Sketch-a-Search will bring up local content and categories based on where you draw.
Sketch-a-Search is location aware and defaults to your current location. You shake to clear the results.
The revamped YahooSearch app has faster results, location shortcuts, integrated voice search and intelligent history.