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Mobile News From CTIA And Beyond: InfoSpace, V-Enable, ZenZui
Beyond the news of Yahoo’s new mobile content and ad networks and Google’s new mobile search upgrades, there’s a good deal of mobile search-related news coming out of CTIA today. Among the announcements, InfoSpace has launched a direct-to-consumer version of its mobile local-search application Find It! for Blackberry devices. Previously the company was working exclusively with carriers to offer the application on the carrier deck.
The application also has a range of upgraded content and features based on user feedback and learning that InfoSpace has gleaned from being in the market for more than a year with the product.
Voice search technology provider V-Enable announced an upgraded voice-based mobile search platform (complete with advertisers), which is targeting incumbent mobile directory assistance (DA) providers. The platform is intended to enable the traditional DA industry to more effectively compete with new, ad-supported free DA services like Jingle Networks’ 1-800-Free411.
Carriers such as AT&T wireless are dong both, with an enhanced traditional DA product powered by TellMe (recently acquired by Microsoft) and a free, ad supported product 1-800-YellowPages. In the V-Enable platform, the local advertisers are provided by SuperPages. Other content providers include MapQuest.
ZenZui also launched today (though not yet to consumers). ZenZui is a Microsoft-founded company spun off as an independent, VC funded entity. The primary innovation here is the interface: using desktop-like widgets (they call them “Tiles”) to allow users to more easily and intuitively access content from various publishers on mobile phones. There are a range of big name content providers at launch including Flickr, Traffic.com, Zillow, Amazon, Kayak, Abcnews and numerous others.
Here’s an explanatory video showing how the interface works.