Apple is releasing the next generation of its popular iPhone today, and users of the first gen phone (including yours truly) get a software upgrade that enables downloading of applications available for the iPhone 3G. Of course, search has made its way onto several applications, so let's take a look at what's available.
Straight Up Search
First up, Google is the only one of the major search engines to offer up an iPhone search app. Suggest and My Location are utilized and you can also use Google search to query your iPhone contacts. The app is free.
The generically named Web Search pulls queries from search engines and presents them in a iPhone friendly format. The idea behind the app, which costs $1.99, is that not all search sites are optimal for browsing via the iPhone's Safari browser, so Web Search takes the results and formats them for better usability.
A whole host of applications are making local search easier. Some are the iPhone versions of popular web sites. Others are designed just for the iPhone. They make use of a user's location and several include reviews and ratings, which are popular among searchers. Here's a list:
- YP Mobile - developed by Yellowpages.com
- Yellow Pages - developed by Avantar
- Local Picks by Trip Advisor
- Where to Go
YP Mobile vs. Yellow Pages iPhone apps
Media: Images, Video, Music and Movies
Both Flickr and Photobucket are offering apps for their popular photo sharing site. You can also browse public photos on their sites. Meanwhile, Truveo developed a video search app for the iPhone. YouTube (complete with search) comes packaged with the original iPhone software.
Midomi allows users to hum a song and the app will search for the song that's hummed. I plan to make great use of this service.
Box Office, OneTap Movies, and plainly named Movies help you search, you guessed it, movies!
So far, the travel search apps (or lack thereof) leave a lot to be desired. I mean, this is the iPhone! People use it while they're out and about and, you know, traveling. But for now, here's what users can download:
- Travelocity - find flight times and nearby hotels
- British Airways - find flights with the airline
- Transit Guides - mostly just for NYC, San Francisco, and DC right now
Etc. and So On
Here's a couple more apps, in case you didn't have enough.
- People - a white pages directory
- CareerBuilder - search for jobs on the go
- Pulawai Real Estate Search - maybe not prime time for this app with the housing crisis, but useful if you're house hunting, especially if on a relocating trip
There are also several apps which deliver information, such as news and sports scores. They kind of take search out of the equation.
Make no mistake, the iPhone is in the process of re-defining search (whether it meant to or not), and mobile search advertising is a space you need to explore.