If you could download only one application for the BlackBerry smartphone, which would you choose? For many people, the single-must-have add-on is Google Mobile App. An update Thursday, to version 3.5.48, makes the free download even more useful.
Now, Google Mobile App will search through your phone's e-mail and address book--in addition to the Web--when you type or speak a name into the search bar. What's more, the e-mail address or phone contact appears in the app's search suggestions after you type (denoted by a tiny icon).
The latest version of Google's mobile app responds to keywords as well as names, with unobtrusive (read: minuscule) icons that match the keyword you entered to the content of your address book records or e-mails. That's in addition to retuning a full Web search.
You're able to call one of your contact's numbers or launch an SMS from Google Mobile App.
In addition, Google Mobile App contains a quick link for replying to an e-mail, which you can also convert to a forwarded message by going through the menu options.
Toggling between Web and device search results is made possible by clicking a "breadcrumb" link that appears in the search box.
Not everyone will want to open up Google Mobile App in order to seek out e-mail messages and buddies, but we're impressed on the whole with the phone search feature's quickness and efficiency.
The search feature is similar in objective to fellow Bay Area e-mail search company Xobni's in-production alpha for BlackBerry.
On the whole, the practice of parsing through locally stored content isn't new to smartphones. Palm's WebOS, Apple's iPhone 3.0 operating system, and Google's 2.0 operating system all support universal search across some combination of a smartphone's contact, e-mail, and often calendar, multimedia, and notes applications. As far as we're concerned, this breed of multitasked search is the way forward, and should be implemented into third-party apps, particularly if the smartphone's OS searches only one native app at a time.
BlackBerry users can download Google Mobile App version 3.5 over-the-air by pointing the mobile browser to m.google.com.