Windows Mobile owners tired of opening their browsers every time they want to start a Google search can now put that habit to rest. On Wednesday, Google released a version of Google Mobile App for Windows Mobile phones (rate it here).
On Microsoft's mobile platform, the free, native application installs a home screen plug-in from which you can launch a handful of Google's mobile services. About two thirds of Google Mobile App is dedicated to its search field. The other portion is populated with thumbnail icons that open your Gmail, Picasa Web albums, Google Docs, and so on, in your default browser, except the Google Maps icon, which will open or install Google's downloadable map and directions application on your phone.
While Google Mobile App for Windows Mobile surfaces your history and search suggestions just like the BlackBerry and iPhone versions, the Windows Mobile version is the first not be a full-screen application. Even when you open Google Mobile App for Windows Mobile from the program menu, you'll see it as a strip floating at the top of the screen.
Treating the mobile app as a horizontal swatch is actually an asset, thanks to some time-saving tweaks Google added to this version--like mapping the app to a hot key so you can start a search without having to first open an app from the program list, and searching within a specific domain. These make Google's mobile application a quick-acting reference resource for anyone with a Windows Mobile phone.
Google Mobile App will work on Windows Mobile smartphones and Pocket PCs in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain.