Thank you Live Search for Mobile! (<- yes, the name is a mouthful, but it gets the job done.) Yesterday was Easter Sunday here in the US. In the morning, my 2 year-old son had tough congestion and was wheezing, a sure sign of croup. He's had this before, so we placed a call into the doctor knowing that a dose of steroids was likely required super fast. Then, being Easter Sunday, we headed off to spend the day with family at grandma's house about 45 minutes away.
On the way, the doctor returned our call and confirmed that my son required the medicine right away. He offered to call it in to the pharmacy. He just needed the number. That would be great, we could have him call a pharmacy near grandma's house and the medicine would be ready when we arrive. Of course, I didn't know the numbers of any pharmacies there. So we told the doctor we'd call him back with a number.
We had 30 minutes to go in the car. I figured we'd just look one up once we got there, but that wasn't good enough for a nervous mom with a wheezing baby in the back seat. So after a berating on the urgency of the situation from my wife, I commenced operations on my "bat phone" (Motorola Q9M). Time to bring up Live Search and look up the number of the local Shop Rite (a Jersey-based grocery chain) pharmacy.
They recently passed a law here in Jersey against using hand-held phones or text messaging while driving. So this meant no typing for me. Luckily for me, Live Search for Mobile let's you use voice recognition to build your search queries.
Click the "speak" button to choose a location: "Jackson, NJ"
Bam! Found it!
Click the "speak" button to say what I'm looking for: "Shop Rite".
Bam! Found it again!
Now we need to call and see if they're open on the holiday. Double-click the result to call through.
Hand my wife the phone. Doh! Pharmacy closes at 1pm on Sunday (it's 1:30pm). Back to Live Search. Time to go for a generic pharmacy chain. Click the "speak" button: "Rite Aid"
Bam! Found it again!
Actually, it found quite a few. My wife reads off the addresses in the results list to me so I can tell her which one is nearest to where we need to go. Double-click to call through. And... they're open!
My wife asks, "Where's a pen? I need to write the number down so I can call the doctor back."
No need for a pen! Back to Live Search once again. With the Rite-Aid location details open, select "SMS to Friend" from the menu, and then type in the doctor's cell number.
Click send, and then Live Search sends the info off to the doctor. We call the doctor back to confirm he got the number. He did.
25 minutes later, we arrive at the local Rite-Aid where the medicine is ready for pick up at the drive through window. My son gets his medicine. The wheezing eases up. And finally... a great Easter feast with the family!
If you have a Blackberry or Windows Mobile phone, you can get Live Search for Mobile for free* by browsing to http://wls.live.com directly from your phone. It's helped me out quite a few times so far. From any other phone, http://m.live.com on the web will help too.
* - Amazing doctor who returns call on a holiday not included!