Idearc Announces New iPhone App with Novel Features

Idearc's Superpages directory becomes the final directory publisher among the majors in North America to release an iPhone app. And like Dex, which understood that the use cases for mobile are not the same as in print or IYP and designed its app accordingly, so too Idearc has done some novel and clever things with its iPhone offering.

(For its part, AT&T has also done interesting thing with YPMobile, such as events integration and in launching non-branded apps such as Have2P, Have2Eat in the iTunes Apps Store.)

The Superpages app is at once broader and more specific than its online yellow pages sibling. It's focused on restaurants and entertainment categories (including shopping) but also offers nice features such as weather, WiFi and ATM locators, as well travel-realted information (i.e., airlines, hotels, taxis, etc.). There's also a high degree of personalization available on the app. Beyond favorites, it allows users to reorder top categories presented on its home screen. 

There's a slider across the top of the home screen (see screens below) that changes the view and type of content presented, moving from listings to a map view. Speaking of which, Superpages has done a nice job integrating Microsoft's Virtual Earth. The maps look great -- it's probably the first appearance of Virtual Earth on the iPhone -- and one can get multi-point routing and directions as well. 

There's Open Table integration for restaurant reservations. And one can also watch movie trailers through the app. In one of the movie-related screens you're able to page through movies posters using cover flow and then go to an information page by tapping the image. 

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Finally, there's a novel reviews feature that allows users to turn a thumb to indicate the intended star rating (image above). One can also upload images from the phone. Presumably all this user-generated content will make its way onto the IYP site. Superpages earlier created a Facebook app for the same reason.

I was interested to see whether the shopping content would leverage Idearc's relationship with Krillion for local product inventory data. Currently it does not but I would assume that will appear in time. It would be a winner in mobile, whereas online it's currently suboptimized in my view.

We'll have more to say in more detail in a later report.