Google has produced a new search service that only links to pages that have been formatted for mobiles.

The XHTML-based service needs a mobile device with a Web browser, but works as usual by entering a query at Google.com.

The new Mobile Web option means users will only receive links to pages formatted for the smaller displays of mobile devices. Other options available to mobile users are "Web", to run a query against the full Google Web index, "Images", to search for pictures, and "Local," to hit Google's business directory for local merchants.

Google also offers a similar service for phones that support WML (wireless markup language) instead of XHTML (extensible markup language). However, WML doesn't support images.

Google now also has an SMS service, which lets users retrieve text information from the search index using the text technology. To tap this service, users need to send a query as a text message to Google's SMS code, which is 46645, and they will receive text results typically after a minute's wait. Google SMS has been designed to provide factual information such as local business listings, driving directions, movie showtimes, weather conditions and product prices.

Google's mobile search services are free, although mobile carriers may apply charges related to data transmission or Web browsing. You can find out more at www.google.co.uk/mobile/index.html.