October 25, 2014

App Review - YPmobile Local Search

Title: YPmobile
Developer(s):
YellowPages.com
Available: Now, Android Market
Price: FREE

Lasting Impression: A good resource for on-the-go searching (and finding) of businesses.

yp_comNitty Gritty: After a long night of “bible studies” you find yourself in no shape to drive. In fact, you don’t really remember where you’re stumbling either. What do you do? Before the G1 and YPmobile, your answer might have been to crawl behind a dumpster and settle in for a long night. Now, though, you’ll be able to not only pinpoint your exact location but also call a cab company that’s in the area and direct them to your dumpster.

YPmobile has three ways to search for businesses of interest: Search, Browse, and History. Search will allow you to narrow the results by the name of a business or a business category. Browse will display a category tree, and History will display a list of past searches.

Search results can be displayed in two ways. One is as pinpoints on a map (Microsoft Virtual Earth and not Google Maps). The other is as a list of the businesses which includes the business name, address, and distance from current location. Using either, clicking on the business will bring up the extended information which includes an address link, telephone number, website (if applicable), payment methods, and other general information. Clicking on the address will bring up location on the map and clicking the telephone number brings up Dialer. The entire process is very straightforward and user friendly. Two additional options are available in the “options menu” at the bottom of the screen: Add To and Share. Add To will add the business to your contacts (pre populated with information). Share creates an email message that can be sent to whomever.

Everything I have covered so far works great and is extremely user friendly. Now come the quirks…

The first I encountered is setting the search area. The first time I used the app was in Orlando. Immediately, it picked up my current location and returned the proper results. The second time I used the app I was in Tampa, but the search results were still for Orlando. And the third time I used the app I was in Los Angeles…but the search results were still for Orlando. So after much thought, I came to the conclusion it doesn’t automatically detect your current location. Your current location can be set by clicking the target symbol found in the “options menu” at the bottom of the map view screen. Not very user intuitive.

The second quirk (flaw?) is that it doesn’t display all the matching results. I did a search for Barnes & Noble in my area and it returned the nearest one being 10 miles away. The problem is I have one 2 miles down the road. It might just be me, but I find it important that a business search application includes ALL matching businesses.

Even with those two quirks, this app receives a 7/10 Androids because the other features are very well done and the UI is top notch (even if it is an iPhone UI).I’ll just keep in mind I might not be driving to the nearest location…