I downloaded Yellowpages.com’s iPhone App this weekend and was psyched to give it a test run after hearing Frank Jules speak about it at Kelsey DMS last week.  The executive summary: not bad but needs work.

It does its main function of allowing you to search for businesses fine.  And this may almost be enough – While driving with my wife I asked her to find the number for the local pizza place.  She immediately went to Google and it took her a minute to navigate through the search results to find New York City Pizza in Pleasanton.  As she was looking I thought that it may have been faster to use the YP app as there would be no other results besides businesses.  But there are a number of these apps (Yelp for instance) and business search alone does not make this a must have.

The big thing that is missing here is a map interface.  When you click on an address you are taken to the standard iPhone Google map, but there is no way to look at a set of businesses within a certain area on the map.  I am sure an integated map UI is coming soon but until then this app is not ready for primetime.

A few other observations:

– The UI offers a business search option with three tabs: Distance, Popular & Sponsored.  Not sure why anyone would ever search “Sponsored”.  Seems to me they could have added the map before this.

– There is also an Events section powered by Zvents.  I guess I get why this makes sense paired with a YP experience, but I’d like to see a more full-fledged event experience, whatever that is (maybe a map?)

– There is a “My Plan” section that allows you to create a plan like “remodel kitchen” and add businesses to the plan.  This is a useful tool when you are considering contacting multiple businesses, or just in the research phase.

I haven’t spent enough time with it to figure out how they are determining the display order, but I have compared two searches – pizza in pleasanton, ca and cabinets in pleasanton, ca – and the display order on the iPhone is different than it is on the website.  It also looks like there are separate ad buys for mobile v. web as the first mobile result for “cabinets” is a bolded listing that is also a web advertiser while the first result for “pizza” is not a bolded listing and one of the advertisers on the website (NY Pizza) is not bolded on the mobile listing.

I’ll keep playing around with it and report on what I find.

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2 Response Comments

  • Josh  September 22, 2008 at 11:24 am

    For those food searches, you should try Munch. Yellow Pages is the best all-purpose directory around, but for specific, often-searched things like food, movies, etc., try Munch or Showtimes.

    Good review btw.

  • Issac  October 29, 2008 at 4:44 am

    YellowPages has become a really popular site on the internet and as far as the iPhone application goes I find myself using the google maps search more often.

    It’s hard to compete with the google maps application.