Reimagining Mobile Search: Introducing Yahoo!® Sketch-a-Search™ and Yahoo! Search for the iPhone®
Today at International CTIA Wireless 2010, we announced two new Yahoo! Search apps for iPhone and iPod touch that will change the way you use mobile search. We have stripped away all the complexity that search engines built in, so these apps are actually fun, entertaining, and easy to use, while providing the locally aware and highly relevant information that you are looking for.
What do you do when you’re looking for a restaurant in a certain area or section of town, and you don’t know the name of the neighborhood, or even its ZIP code? Now with the Sketch-a-Search app, you can draw a circle around the general area on the map — around the San Francisco waterfront, let’s say — and voilà, restaurants appear. If you click on the restaurant results, you can read reviews, browse photos, check prices, and lots more. You can also refine your sketch search by types of cuisine, ambiance, or ratings to find a place that best matches what you are looking for. Today, you can find restaurants across the United States; we plan to launch additional local categories on an ongoing basis and extend to international markets in the near future.
OK, so Sketch-a-Search is pretty cool, but what if you need to know who the founder of LEGO is, or showtimes for the movie “Avatar”? We’ve got that covered: Today, we’ve also launched the Yahoo! Search app for iPhone, a fast and beautiful experience that integrates voice search, embedded maps, and information from Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Movies, Yahoo! News, and other sources that appears directly in the results.
Since mobile searchers tend to ping-pong back and forth between map applications and search, we’ve integrated maps into the app to simplify the experience. The app also allows you to customize the local maps experience: Want to see more map and fewer local results? More results and less map? It’s totally up to you. Until now, neither the search engine nor the map gave consumers exactly the experience they’re looking for. Our new app is pretty nifty — give it a try and you will know what we mean.
Finally, we’ve made it easier to search for what’s nearby with location-based, local results. For example, if you’re searching for plumbers here in Sunnyvale, California, the app will detect that you’re likely looking for plumbers in this area and will provide you with results in a combined map-list view. As you scroll down the list of plumbers and their reviews, the app repositions the map with the currently selected item. You can also use the map to browse the associated ratings and reviews.
Both Yahoo! Sketch-a-Search and Yahoo! Search for iPhone can be downloaded for free beginning today. The Yahoo! Search for iPhone app is available in 22 countries across North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, and will continue to roll out to additional locations.
We hope you find these Yahoo! Search apps as fun and useful as we do. Drop us a line and tell us what you think.
Director of Mobile Search products
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