Voice and Search Assist Removing "Friction" for Yahoo! Mobile Search Users

Yahoo recently rolled out (for Nokia Series 60 phones) an idle screen oneSearch shortcut that comes with a mobile version of Search Assist, the company's search suggestion tool for the desktop. The original announcement of the shortcut was made earlier this year at the CTIA show in Las Vegas. 

Here's what it looks like:

Search assist for mobile

I was speaking to Yahoo!'s Lee Ott about the impact of Yahoo!'s deal with Vlingo and voice search on mobile and he pointed to mobile Search Assist as a comparable tool. Both reduce "fricition" -- inputting content into the search box.

Ott said that voice client users were doing approimately 35% more mobile searching than conventional oneSearch users on WAP. However he also said that Search Assist was driving more frequency as well. 

Ott said it was "too early" to tell how big a bet Yahoo! would make on voice for mobile search. But he pointed to Search Assist as a similar tool. Voice may function in situations where Search Assist does not (i.e., driving) and vice versa. So ultimately tools like this could be regarded as complementary.