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Old 04-25-2006, 06:00 PM
Raphael Salgado
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 349
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Default Get Instant Directory Assistance via Google From the Today Screen

If there's one thing I'm often asked on getting the most out of a Pocket PC Phone, it's how one can get cheap or free directory assistance. While calling 1-800-FREE-411 may help when your hands are totally occupied, there are a number of programs out on the market that are very nice, but will come with a price, such as GoAustralia DirectAssist for $5.99AUD a month or $14.99AUD a year, Handmark Pocket Express for $69.99 a year, and Acodic Mobile Info2Go for $29.99 flat. While these programs are great and offer more features than just telephone directory lookup to make it worth their price, this quick alternative can be just what you're looking for. Read on for more...

Jonathan Misurda's SearchToday Plugin is based off the ingeniuous people at Palm who created a Google search Today plugin on the Treo 700w.

Using the following specific search URL parameter in the SearchToday settings page, it will open up Internet Explorer Mobile and produce an extremely-clean results page from Google, complete with hyperlinked telephone numbers that will actually dial out on a Pocket PC Phone:
<br />The "%s" at the end of the URL is the actual search string that you entered that is automatically parsed out by the SearchToday plugin.<br /><br /> <img src="" /> <br /><i>Figure 1. Sample output from the Google URL noted above.</i><br /><br />By entering the words as simple as "benihana philadelphia" or "chuckycheese 90210" (the zip code), you'll leave the intelligence to Google to find the right results for you.<br /><br />If you want to rid yourself of the tiny map included with the results page, simply use this string instead:
<br /><br />For Treo 700w owners, you don't need to download the SearchToday plugin - I have modified the Treo's own WebSearchPlugin.dll to perform the same function (with the map). Simply download the modified DLL file <a href="">here</a>, disable the "Web Search" Today plug-in on your Treo 700w, then manually copy it into its Windows folder using a third-party File Explorer (since File Explorer itself won't show DLL files). Soft reset the device, then re-enable the modified plug-in.<br /><br />If you want to revert to the original plug-in, don't fret - it's embedded in the ROM. Just disable the plug-in again, then delete the WebSearchPlugin.dll, and the original one from the ROM will reappear in its place.<br /><br />Now you have your own, instant directory assistance, free* on your phone! (*Data connectivity and usage charges may apply, depending on your wireless carrier plan, of course).
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Old 04-25-2006, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 171
Default Google SMS

Might also try Google SMS (see

Create a Contact with the phone# 46645 then simply sms any name, city, state to that contact and receive a phone# in reply...

cost depends on your plan's sms charges, but it's always less than a gprs connect in my case.

Beverly Howard [MS MVP-Mobile Devices]
Beverly Howard
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Old 04-25-2006, 06:21 PM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 68

I just want to let people know that whenever I get a chance, I'll be updating SearchToday to allow you to save many custom search queries like this.

Things have been pretty busy for the past few months for me, but I'm hoping to have this done in the near future.

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Old 04-25-2006, 07:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 144
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Very cool, except that it doesn't work quite right with the hardware keyboard on my Verizon/Samsung i730 Pocket PC Phone.

This keyboard has the number pad overlaid on part of the keyboard, so that if I want to enter a number, I have to hit "Fn" then the key. For example, the "D" key. If I want to type "d", I just hit the key. If I want to type "5", I hit Fn then the key.

The problem is that SearchToday is acting like the Fn key is locked in the "on" position, and I'm unable to type anything but numbers with those keys.

There's no Fn Lock function on this keyboard (believe me, I wish there was!), so it's not a matter of that being stuck on.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Editor -
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 717

for those of you juggling 2 devices or fortunate to have a Treo 650 with a true one hand operation consider using Directory Assistant by Rick Whitt. I am still amazed that something so simple and effective as that app has not been ported to PPC. So I stick with the Treo.
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:41 PM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 41

I hit the link "Jonathan Misurda's SearchToday Plugin " and didn't find the file. Am I missing something?
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:00 PM
Robb Bates
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 439

Any ideas on how to format the map so it's Pocket PC sized and not itty-bitty phone sized?

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Old 04-26-2006, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2

This is great -- I actually diss'ed the Google search and instead input:

The results are *much* better than Google -- especially for non-businesses. The default zip code is for my personal area of residence. If I need to do a search outside my immediate vicinity, I'm able to input a new location at the bottom of the results page.

Anyway, works great for me... thought I'd share.
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Old 04-26-2006, 02:31 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 192
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Originally Posted by BrentCrandall
The MS Local Live does work pretty well, I like the option to save the address asa v-card to your device as well as support for calling the number just by tapping on "call".

In case anyone here is having trouble with Google over T-mobile's GPRS (some of us are), I found that using the following web proxy to access Google via the Search Today app works well:
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Old 04-26-2006, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 68

Originally Posted by JoshB
There's no Fn Lock function on this keyboard (believe me, I wish there was!), so it's not a matter of that being stuck on.

Any ideas or suggestions?
This is a known issue with devices with hard keyboards. I've not yet been able to track down whether it is the fault of my code, or whether it is an unintended side effect of enabling the keyboard on the today screen.

If anyone knows more on the cause of this issue, i'd be grateful for some insight.

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