Local Mobile Apps

    October 30, 2007

Now you can let your fingers do the walking in a whole new way. Long the master of local, has unveiled another effort to dominate local search—this time on your phones.

With its new downloadable local mobile search apps, you can find the best restaurants, stores and other businesses near you.

This is delivered through a partnership with AT&T—the apps are available for not only the iPhone but 20 other AT&T devices. It looks like you may be out of luck unless you have an AT&T phone. Of course, since AT&T owns, this isn’t entirely surprising.

I don’t quite get this part of the release, though:

iPhone users can now easily find local businesses and services by going to on their Safari browser and inputting a search term or category and location.

Now, is it just me, or does forcing your users to go to your website kind of defeat the purpose of creating a downloadable web app?

Overall, these apps sound pretty useful. They:

  • let you save your favorite listings and locations
  • use auto-complete (which we know can be a huge time saver—or the most annoying feature on the planet)
  • provide ratings and automatic “click”-to-call features for business listing
  • give maps and driving directions—as well as biking and walking directions.
  • use GPS (in phones with GPS enabled) automatically in maps and directions.

Sigh. I wish my phone could do that. The apps join’s other efforts in the mobile arena, including a SMS-based 411 service for local businesses (YP411) and the ability to send results from to your mobile phone, including driving directions.

It does seem, however, that AT&T has an awful lot of control in this arrangement.