Reimagining Mobile Search: Introducing Yahoo!® Sketch-a-Search™ and Yahoo! Search for the iPhone®

  • Posted March 23rd, 2010 at 6:18 am by Yahoo! Mobile
  • Categories: Product, Search

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.

Yahoo! Sketch-a-Search

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.


Yahoo! Search app for iPhone

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! FinanceYahoo! MoviesYahoo! 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.

Ariel Seidman
Director of Mobile Search products

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Comment by Daave H

March 23rd, 2010 at 10:08 am

Very impressive, keep up the good work. One? are you guys going to update the main Yahoo iPhone app?

Comment by John Starta

March 23rd, 2010 at 10:55 am


Great work! I totally love the idea of Sketch-a-Search. How do I go about reporting businesses that don’t exist any longer (but display in a search result) and bugs / mapping display inaccuracies?

Comment by JuanGuapo

March 23rd, 2010 at 11:03 am

Agreed, I wish you guys would update/fix the main yahoo app. The voice search has an apparent delay (1-2sec).

As far as the two new apps…

I like the simplicity of the Y! Search app, esp. that it gives you a quick map glance and the ability to one-click dial a business.

The sketch app is nice for finding a restaurant or something. No complaints, I put it on the 2nd page of my iPhone. :)


March 23rd, 2010 at 4:22 pm

[...] in time for the iPad, Yahoo is premiering two new Apple apps based around their local/mobile search offerings. One is a fairly standard search app—but the other brings an interesting dimension to local [...]


March 23rd, 2010 at 5:24 pm

[...] morning at the CTIA 2010 conference in entertainment-loving Las Vegas, Yahoo! announced two cool new location-aware apps for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch handhelds—Yahoo! Sketch-a-Search and Yahoo! Search. These [...]

Comment by NRG

March 23rd, 2010 at 7:39 pm


Its a great app….love it..but had a few qs.

- The app shows you the the # of reviews but doesnt have a way to be able to read or post reviews..?

- Also i guess this will extend to other services in the future releases..?

Comment by Ariel Seidman

March 26th, 2010 at 3:39 pm

@NRG. Stay tuned on both accounts

Comment by app developer

June 11th, 2010 at 4:53 am

Sketch-a-Search – looks great… when will we see it in UK or are Yahoo living in a US centric bubble?


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