Category Archives: iphone

New Mobile Application Available

Available as of this morning in the iTunes Store is the brand new mobile application for finding businesses and people with some cool new features, such as auto category selection, map based viewing of results, more added content and a completely brand new user interface.

Here are some screenshots of the application: Mobile Application on itunes

Find a People Using Mobile Application Application Map View Detailed Merchant Page on Mobile

In November I posted on my blog and update on the fact that there were over 1/2 Million downloads and 3 reasons why Canadian love this application (click to read the original post). This release of the application stays consistent with those 3 reasons which include;

Simplicity – this version of the application remains true to its core of key functions that allow a user to get to the information they need.

Content – with a focus on videos, photos and more content coming soon, it displays the information that users want to see to help them make better decisions

Usability – with this upgrade comes a more user centric focus.

What do you think? Does this application hit the mark? Would be interested to hear your comments.

Canada’s Yellow Pages(TM) Mobile App, over 1/2 Million Downloads and 3 Reasons for its Success

If you did not have a chance to read the press release for Yellow Pages Group 3rd Quarter Results this past Wednesday, there is one paragraph that is interesting for local search enthusiasts:

The priority in Directories continues to be the introduction of new products. During the quarter, YPG launched a new version of its popular™ local search application for the Apple iPhone. The latest version features advertiser video content and continues to put the power of in the hands of on-the-go users. The™ mobile application remains in the leading free downloaded apps since launching at the iTunes App Store. To date, the company reports over 500,000 downloads of the iPhone and Blackberry® apps.

I originally posted about Canada’s First Integrated Business and People Search App back in April 2009. At that time, the application was #7 most popular free application within the first week.

Fast forward 6-months and the application is still in the top 20 free applications, here is a screenshot from this morning: Application in the Top 20 Free Apps in iTunes

So What Makes This iPhone Application So Successful. I get this question alot in discussions with local search experts around the globe. I have summarized the success of this application to the following key points:

1) Simplicity

This is a under 1mb download that gives Canadian’s access to a Business Directory, People Directory and Reverse Look-up where a user can search by City, Landmark, Neighborhood or GPS. This follows in line with the new launched on October 12 – check out my post 15 Local Searches I have a Comment On, to see some example hyperlocal searches. The user ratings on iTunes as well as our user feedback prove this with over 200 of 500 ratings given it 5-stars and an average rating of 3.5. Here is the screenshot: Ratings in Apple's iTunes

Note: many of the 1-star ratings are from a competitor of this app who have decided to use multiple user names to say negative things and promote their own application. Personally, I think it’s a pathetic marketing strategy that consists of flaming a ratings/reviews engine, but to each their own. There are some legitimate users who have bashed this application and I can assure you that YPG reads your comments and will act accordingly.

2) Content

This application has a boat load of content including up-to-date business and people information, tens of thousands of videos and hundreds of thousands of pieces of enhanced content like hours of operations, payment types, etc. There is more content coming, but as a starting point, there is no other application in Canada that boosts such an impressive array of local content.

3) Usability

There has only been 2 iterations of this application since its launch. The second version of adding video was a very common user request and YPG is working on some new features that users are asking for. Stay Tuned.

Why is this significant. Many local applications release half-baked features (mostly in the hopes of getting some PR value) that either don’t work, work sporadically, have limited usability on a mobile platform, or simply don’t have enough content to be functional.

The application is a highly efficient app that delivers value by giving user what they want and when they need it. It delivers on a simple promise to connect buyers and sellers and this seems to resonant with Canadian mobile users. Sometimes simplicity can actually be the most efficient user experience.

What are you thoughts on the local mobile space? Will “cool” beat “functional”? Like the web, is content the king on mobile as well? What features would you like to see on a local application?

iPhone 3G Tethering Speed vs. Roger’s Portable Internet Stick

The latest download 3.0 software from Apple gives you the ability for Tethering your internet connect through your iphone to your computer. Here is the summary from the Apple web site, “If you travel with a PC laptop or Mac notebook, you know it can be difficult to find a Wi-Fi hotspot. With Internet tethering on iPhone, you don’t need one. Now you can share the 3G connection on your iPhone with your computer and connect to the Internet anywhere. When your iPhone is tethered, you can still send and receive data and make phone calls.” Link to Tethering on Apple website.

Since I have both a portable Internet stick from Rogers (Novatel Wireless Ovation MC9500D) I wanted to conduct a test to compare the upload and download speeds using my iPhone 3G and my Internet stick. Since both devices are using the 3G network from Rogers, my assumption that the speed tests should be fairly close. For the speedtest I used the Shaw Speed Test tool, available here.

I started by conducting a speed test using my wireless connection running Shaw’s High-Speed Internet. Here are the results of that speed test.

Shaw Internet Speed Test

Here are the results from the Portable Internet Stick.

Roger's High Speed Portable Internet Stick

Here are the results from using my iPhone 3G connected with a USB cable.

iPhone 3G Tethering USB Cable

Here are the results from using my iPhone 3G connection via Bluetooth.

iPhone 3G Tethering Bluetooth

As you can see from the results above, I was quite surprised at the lack of performance when comparing the iPhone 3G with the Portable Internet Stick. In both the download and the upload speeds, the portable internet stick clearly out performs tethering with the iPhone. This is interesting considering both where using the Roger’s 3G network.

Based on this test my conclusion; in a pinch tethering using your phone for quick connections would be completely fine, however, if you are a power portable user I would not rely solely on tethering as the speed is simply not there.

NOTE: this test was performed in the order listed above on July 3, 2009 between 11:30-11:50am MST.

My Blog is Fully iPhone Compatible – Thanks to WPtouch: Mobile Plugin

Today I am officially announcing that my blog is iPhone compatible. I really could not take my credit for this, rather I need to give the credit to Brave New Code for developing the WPtouch Mobile Plugin. Here is what they say about their plugin – “More than just a plugin, WPtouch is an entire theme package for your WordPress website. Modeled after Apple’s app store design specs, WPtouch makes your WordPress website load lightning fast on touch mobile devices, show your content beautifully, all while not interfering with your regular theme.Read More.

Okay, so how is this. First, you download the plugin, then you install it through your wordpress control panel and fully your customize it by adding analytic code and even Google Adsense code to get mobile advertising. That is pretty much it and you are up and running. If a user types if your blog on their iPhone, they will see a nicely formatted blog.

Here is an example of what the home page of my blog looks like on the iPhone,

Darby Sieben Home Page iPhone

If you want to see an snippet of the posting, you can click on the down arrow key beside the title to see a preview of the entire article:

Darby Sieben iPhone Article Expanded

The plugin very nicely displays images from within your blog posts:

Darby Sieben iPhone Images in Blog Post

Finally, you can read all the comments as well as post new comments directly from your iPhone:

Darby Sieben iPhone Blog Comments

Overall this is one of the best plugins and an absolute must for anybody who has a blog and wants to ensure it is compatible with the iPhone or the iPod touch.

Quick update regarding the Application in iTunes, as of this afternoon, we are now the #4 most downloaded application in iTunes Canada. See my original post introducing Canada’s Only Integrated Business and People Search for the iPhone. Check out the screenshot below: iPhone Application - #4 Top Download in Canada

Canada’s Only Integrated Business and Person Finder for the Iphone Is a Hit

Well it has been a very busy week in the world of mobile applications for Yellow Pages Group. We were the first to launch a Canadian Business Directory Blackberry Application on April 1 and then we followed that up on April 2 with Canada’s first integrated business, people and reverse lookup for the iPhone. Read the official corporate press release – Yellow Pages Group Launches Mobile Search Applications For Blackberry® And iPhone™

In 7-days we have managed to become the 7th most popular application in iTunes (screen capture done on April 9). See screenshot below:

iPhone Business Directory Application

So in the last 7-days, here are some of the comments about our application iPhone Application:

Read Warren Fray’s review over at TechVibes – Yellow Pages challenges Canpages for iPhone dominance, here is an excerpt:

It’s not that the Yellowpages app is in any way badly put together. In fact, in terms of presentation, the overall design feel is somewhat slicker than the Canpages app. The app doesn’t have speech-driven search and it isn’t as feature-rich as the Canpages app, but by keeping things simple it actually succeeds. Read the full article.

Mike Boland weighs in from a business perspective on the importance of mobile applications on the Kelsey Blog. “The name of the game for directory publishers these days is to build up traction and traffic through their own branded mobile apps as well as listing distribution on other mobile local search apps.Read the rest.

Sebastien Provencher on this blog comments, “happy to see that directory publishers are releasing new mobile apps. Obviously, in the medium/long term, it is a critical component of the distribution mix.”

Finally, here are some comments within iTunes about what people are saying about this application: Reviews

Overall it has been a pretty exciting week on the mobile front for my team. One last comment, many of you might be wondering about traffic and the growth. Although I cannot disclose specifics, I can tell you that so far the doubling of traffic almost daily has been truly amazing to watch. It is glad to see that Canadians love it.

iPhone Application – Canadian People Finder Now Available

Canada’s original find a person website, is now available on through iTunes for your iPhone and iPod. Just like your white pages, this application allow you to search for any person in Canada, coast to coast.

Features include:

– two search boxes, who and where (search by city keyword, neighborhood or GPS search)
– search businesses nearby a person’s location
– save information in your MyFavs or your Address Book
– application features business search with additional enhanced information
– Canada’s only integrated business and people Reverse Look-up Feature

Canada 411

Canadian People Finder

Available for free. Click here to launch your iTunes.