Superpages today officially launched its iPhone application. This joins iPhone apps from all the major U.S. Yellow Pages publishers, as they each try to solidify brands and build traffic levels on the quickly growing mobile Web.
Some of the features of the new app include:
Add Photos: Did your food taste as good as it looked? Take a snap shot before you chow down and upload it when you rate your experience.
Find Movies Fast: Search by movie or theater and see show times, read reviews, watch trailers or browse movie posters.
Get Directions: Get step-by-step interactive driving directions with an option to have multiple stops on the way to your destination.
Locate Local WiFi Hotspots: Find free and pay-for-use WiFi hotspots near you.
See your local five-day forecast with current conditions, conduct a reverse lookup of people or businesses and access your My Superpages account to easily see your previous searches.
I’ve spent a lot of time talking to Peter Schwab, Idearc’s director of mobile products, about the company’s mobile philosophies, many of which are present in this application. One example is its thumbs-up feature, a circular wheel that lets users rotate a thumb to indicate the quality of the experience.
This is one of the few local apps that lets users contribute ratings and reviews from the device (others include Citysearch and Yelp). More importantly, it taps into the touch screen capabilities of the device and minimizes the typing required.
This goes back to one of Schwab’s philosophies — designing products that are fitting to the form factor and don’t just replicate the online Yellow Pages experience (Schwab brings hardware and software sensibilities from prior roles at Microsoft and Vulcan). This includes utilizing the evolving feature sets of devices like the iPhone.
This product customization comes with the development challenge of many mobile operating systems and many more devices that are in the market. This challenge is an important one — especially for smaller companies with limited development resources. (This is the focus of a forthcoming TKG report.)
IPhone users can download the Superpages app on iTunes. We’ll continue to use it and report on its usefulness, including a more in-depth look at the feature set.