Mobile search is seen by many as the key to luring the mobile masses away from the carrier portal and out onto the Internet. So, understandably, there's quite a bit of competition among mobile search providers. Google has made the most recent move with the announcement of a new edition of its WAP-based search engine that uses XHTML to restrict the search results to sites that will display properly on a small screen. That's the theory anyway; in practice, I found that many of the results still looked awful on my phone, but I guess that's the nature of the Web. Yahoo is reportedly working on a similar search service that allows site owners to manual include their sites in a "made for mobile" database.
Of course, mobile search isn't limited to the brand-name Web search engines. Last month, Fast Search and Transfer, which makes the search technology used by LexisNexis and other major ventures, announced the development of a mobile search service called mSearch. This is definitely one area of mobile software development that I will keep an eye on. - Eli