Live Search for MobileLast December, I wrote about the initial release of Live Search for Mobile, Microsoft's mapping and local search application for mobile phones. As noted in the post, Google only had a slow Java-based client for Windows Mobile devices at the time. Earlier this year, however, a native Windows Mobile version of Google Maps was released, which was a huge improvement over its rather unimpressive predecessor.

Last week, Microsoft improved its offering with the second version of Live Search for Mobile. The update improves performance with better caching, includes user reviews for local search results, and improves upon the GPS navigation features. The most noticeable change, however, is the addition of movie showtimes, powered by data from AMG.

Just like other local search results, movie theater listings can be viewed as a simple, text-only list, or as overlays on a map. Users are given a choice to select either a specific movie to see which theaters are showing it, or a specific local theater to see which movies are playing there. As shown in the screenshot above, the application displays movie showtimes, as well as the address and phone number of the theater so that you can call or get directions in just a couple of clicks. Also included is the option to SMS this information to your friends (with full phonebook integration), which is very convenient.

All in all, a welcome update to a great mobile application.