AOL Testing Mobile Browsing, Search

On the heels of Google adding local capabilities to its mobile search, AOL has begun beta testing its own mobile service that offers full Internet search queries, information on local interests and shopping destinations.

AOL Mobile Search is specially formatted to fit the consolidated screen space of browser-enabled cell phones. Users simply add the Mobile Search URL into their phone and they can begin to browse full Web sites.

"The new service is not SMS based, as are most of the mobile search services you see today. Rather, it is based on a transcoding technology that automatically adapts Web pages to the dimensions of small mobile screens," an AOL spokesperson told BetaNews.

"The goal is to allow mobile users to browse conventional HTML Web pages, enter specific URLs and access the AOL Search, Pinpoint Shopping and AOL Yellow Pages offerings – just as they would from the desktop – to easily find whatever they may need."

AOL joins Google and, which have both taken their searches to users on the run. Like AOL, has ported its referenced-based search engine to suit a variety of handhelds, Windows CE devices and other browser-based phones.

"As part of our ongoing commitment to providing our members and users with access to the information, content and services they need, we are engaged in very early-stage beta testing of a new mobile browsing and search service," the AOL spokesperson added.

The beta test is only available to AOL members at the present time, but users can view the service directly by visiting the AOL Mobile Search site.

Nate Mook contributed to this report.

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