Review: YPmobile | webOS Nation
 
 

Review: YPmobile 51

by Derek Kessler Wed, 07 Apr 2010 9:21 am EDT

YPmobile

When Palm and AT&T are touting the coolness of YPmobile on the new AT&T Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, we’ve came to realize that it’s the exact same app you can already find in the App Catalog. In fact, we’re disappointed in ourselves for skipping over the app so many times, simply because of the name that conjured up images of super-thick books full of phone numbers and really bad ads on thin yellow paper. The free YPmobile app for webOS couldn’t be further from the yellow-paged days of yore, and that’s a good thing.

First released in December 2009, YPmobile has seen numerous updates to its current version (0.6.4). The app still serves the basic function on finding nearby businesses, but does so with exceeding ease and grace. There are several different ways to find local establishments: list search, map search, and browser. Each allows you to look for a specific business (e.g. LaRosa's Pizzeria) or a general category (Pizza).

The on-launch search option is a GPS-pinned map, which also remembers your last search. The maps are provided by Microsoft's Bing, and they’re simply far-and-away better for browsing than the Google Maps option that come on all webOS phones. Bing maps in YPmobile supports double tap and pinch-to-zoom multi-touch functionality far more smoothly than Google Maps, and it scrolls around more easily to boot. Sadly, YPmobile doesn’t attempt to give you routing instructions in addition to business listings: the Bing maps are only for finding business, not getting there.

YPmobile Back to the map search. Your location appears as the standard blue dot, while the location of search matches appear as green pins. The currently selected (or last selected, if you tap off of a pin) business shows up as a red pin. It’s a small, but useful, touch for easily finding your way back after errant taps. When you select a pin, the map recenters over it and a pop-over listing info box appears with name, location, review, and distance from your current location. The listing box itself has little blue arrows on either side to jump between search results. Tapping on the box will send you to the full business listing.

List view and map view are toggled in the bottom right corner. The list view feels more like a traditional Yellow Pages search, with a sponsored listing (relevancy not guaranteed) appearing at the top of the list. Following are your actual search results, ordered by distance. The same information is displayed here as is with the pop-over listings in map view.

YPmobile The last way to find businesses is with the browser. Accessed from the Browse option in the drop-down menu, YPmobile has split the browse scene into a carousel of “popular” businesses (i.e. sponsored listings) and a list of popular categories. Tapping any of the popular business will take you back to your last search choice (map or list) and research for that business. The categories option has two different listings. Some are very specific options, like Banks or Drug Stores, and will immediately send you to a map or list view search. Others, like Auto or Restaurants, will drop down into sub-categories so you can refine your search to something like Barbecue Restaurants or Korean Restaurants.

YPmobile All of that is just to find businesses. Once you’ve found one and tapped on the listing, you’re presented with a page with links to websites, phone numbers, maps, reviews (all from YellowPages.com, naturally), and driving directions (text directions only, no route mapping here). What really makes the listing useful is the ability to save the business in multiple ways. You can easily save a listing into your contacts (and the delete it later, if you so desire). YPmobile also lets you add a location to your calendar, letting you set the name and times without having to actually open the Calendar app. Annoyingly, YPmobile can only write to its own account within Calendar, but that's a limitation of webOS, not the app itself. You can always go to Calendar and move the app into your own personal calendar if you so desire.

If you’re particularly fond of (or simply need to access often) a YPmobile listing, each comes with a Add to Favorites button (Heart +) in the bottom right corner to save it to your favorites. These saved listings can be accessed from anywhere in the app by selecting Favorites from the drop-down menu.

YPmobile Lastly, there’s the history list, again accessed from the drop-down menu. History displays a list of all your viewed listings (but not past searches, which may or may not be a good thing). As you likely have figured out by now, tapping on any entry in the History list will take you to the full listing. If you don’t want something saved in your history, you can merely swipe it to the side to delete. And if you want to clear the history, there’s a little trashcan in the bottom right corner calling your name.

While we’re still confused as to why a pre-installed freely available App Catalog app is worthy of inclusion on a press release, we are glad that Palm has brought it to our attention. Too many times we skipped over YPmobile because of the antiquated connotations of its name, and that we do regret. YPmobile is a fantastic way to find nearby businesses with simple and intuitive controls and options.

With the ability to easily save listing as contacts, favorites, and calendar entries, YPmobile’s search capabilities put it far and away above Google Maps. Of course, it can’t get you there as easily as Google Maps can (though on the AT&T Pre Plus and Pixi Plus YPmobile is integrated with AT&T Navigator), Google Maps is nowhere near as good at finding stuff and providing relevant information on webOS. If anything, YPmobile has us yearning for a proper and full-featured mapping app, and we wouldn’t mind if it was mapping options that were tacked onto YPmobile instead of the superior search features of YPmobile onto a lesser mapping app. Yeah, YPmobile is that good, and we feel silly for not noticing before.

YPmobile is available for free from the App Catalog.

Pros

Excellent Bing maps browsing

Cons

No route mapping
Tags:

51 Comments

I like it

how come I feel I was the only one using it from the start and now see someone finally giving credit where it deserved

wow had not used since i first got pre 06-06-09 need to go back and try, thanks for update look good

Wow, I wasn't expecting such a long, detailed review of this. Someone had his coffee this morning.

By the way, thanks for these reviews. They honestly have an effect when it comes to me, not sure if thats the case for many others. I know I had never even noticed NewsRoom and the review here made me buy it (I have bought few apps) and I went from no RSS reader to constantly using one. One of my favorite apps. Downloading this again too, it's been about 8 months I think.

Just loaded it and it is great! It found my exact location better than Google Maps. This is a cool app

downloading now, will give better review later. give it ur review here and in the app catalog.

I just downloaded the ap. Thanks for the detailed review. BTW, it claims it now offers driving directions, but I see that route mapping would be awfully nice. C'mon YP....get it together!

I really like the app, but the past 2-3 times I've used it, it's given me the wrong phone number for places that have been there for years. So usually I cross-reference it with Sprint Navigation to make sure it's the right number, but doing so just adds an extra step.

I totally love this app!!! Sits right next to my Foursquare for when I have to add new venue :-D

thats not a bad idea...think im gonna download it now...

Con: Not available in Canada.

Con: actually *living* in Canada.

:)

Sorry, couldn't resist. I'm just being a wise-a** though, I actually like Canada quite a bit. Couldn't pass up the joke opportunity though :)

Man, if this just had the bing traffic, I'd be all over it. I can't stand google's very very delayed traffic and loading bing maps through the web browser is very painful. A bing maps traffic app is all that's missing from my Pre right now.

+1

I truly loathe how long it takes google maps to come up on my Sprint Pre. I don't know if it's any faster on a Pre+, but it's egregiously slow on my phone.

If YPMobile had traffic, I'd use it a *lot* more than google maps.

I totally agree. The 800mhz patch has helped a lot with google, but it still can't do anything for their useless traffic data.

For the Pre Plus, its not the load time that bothers me, but rather the fact that the GPS is non-existent. I can't get GPS to work on my Pre Plus.

I'm hoping when AT&T releases their phones, they give away the navigator for free, and I hope that GPS works. If it does, I'm likely going to terminate early on Verizon and go to AT&T. I can't stand Verizon anymore and how they make you pay for every feature that should come free. I'm also tired of GPS just not working and I know it's Verizon's doing.

that da only bad thing about this dudes ( vz ) must have to pay for each good stuff but any way I don't use it at all those features if went from sprint to vz was for their network which totally 100% better and fast.

My GPS on my Pre Plus works perfectly most of the time, but tends to be spottier when it rains (go figure). When the weather is bad, it tends to put me at the nearest cell tower.

In general, GPS accuracy is much improved if I first go to Google Maps and then use any other GPS function.

actually google maps on vz is mad fast n better for searching.

I am on Sprint central Illinois. used YP to find a Taco Bell near Chicago. it gave me a option for Driving directions which I used. It also gave the option to add to contacts so I could use Sprint Navigation. Is your lack of the option for directions carrier based or geographical location?

I have been using this for a while now. I wish it had route mapping and integrated a little more with the synergy for contacts. It loads so much faster than google maps and is much more appealing to the eye.

I love this app. I just recently rediscovered it. It's much better than google maps, IMHO. It keeps favorites and loads much faster. I don't use it for driving directions since I have Sprint Nav, though, so I can't speak to that.

I'm like someone else earlier. For driving directions, I simply save it temporarily as a contact and then bring up Sprint Navigation and tell it to drive to the contact address. Works great.

As a Cincinnatian, I was happy to see Cincinnati used in the example above... We love love love LaRosa's in Cincinnati!!

Anyway, cool app... downloading today, thanks!

P.S. How'd you get the percentage AND the battery Icon??? I just have the patch for the percentage, but it replaces the battery icon, so I cant see the lightning bolt when it's charging... Private msg me on the forum someone and tell me which patch I need. THANKS in advance.

@brandizy: fellow Cincinnati resident here... LaRosa's is decent but I am not a huge fan of their choice of provolone as primary cheese. Papa John's is my go-to for pizza... though it's hard to beat the value of a LaRosa's Buddy Card.

Anyway...

The battery icon and percent patch is the one available in Preware called (wait for it...) "Battery Icon and Percent" v1.4.1-1 by nesl247 and Jason Robitaille.

@Brandizy, When you have the Batteey percentage patch installed...the color changes to blue when it's charging. Green when it's full and not charging... yellow when it's being depleted, and RED when it's about empty... so you don't need the little icon JUST to see the lightening bolt when it's charging.

battery* Sorry, despise typos :o)

I like the loading of these maps better than Google, but I travel all over the place. The directions on foot, as well as by car & public transportation by Google is far superior, IMO. If this were added to YP, it would change things a lot.

sounds pretty good, but the search and map functions in Sprint Navigation serve my needs just fine.

I have to wonder how up-to-date the database is. It shows a Pizza Hut in my town that has been closed for probably 10 years or more!

I just checked Sprint Nagigation. It does NOT list this non-existent pizza place as YPmobile does.

probably because Sprint Nav, is TeleNav

I love the app but have had some trouble finding some listings that I would otherwise easily find using the competitors service :( so I use it when ever I can find the listing ...

Also currently residing in Cincinnati. Indeed, Cincinnati loves LaRosa's, even though it barely registers as food.

Thanks for the review D.K. Very helpful as usual. Does this mean you might have an in with the good people of Sprint? Would you put in a word for Cincinnati as host to 4G? Make us C40 optimized?

Locate-A-Rama (free) is worth a try too. It's worked well for me.

VIVA LAROSA'S! Loved seeing this. Live up in Dayton, but hang out in the Nati a lot. Love LaRosa's. I will have to check this app out. I have passed it over in the past, might be worth a gander.

It works great. It usually works better than Google Maps for finding places nearby. I have used it since I got my phone in September. As much as it turns my stomach to have anything from AT&T on my phone... :)

Let's see...
Takes 19secs to launch Google Maps
2secs to launch YPmobile

YPmobile wins.

Yes, I have the clock, calendar and bweather apps always open, and no I don't have any overclocking patch.

If only AT&T took the code base of YPmobile and expanded the functionality into a fully functional Bing maps app that launches within 2secs, I'd be all over it.

When everything launches in an instant on 1.4.1.1, Google maps takes like forever.

I'm just happy that I am not the only one noticing that it takes for freaking ever to load Google maps.

Great review - but two corrections:

1. Yep, the app has driving directions. It's not available from the map view, but it's right on the business detail page - look for the icon with the car.

2. They don't just use yellowpages.com reviews - they've also got Citysearch and Judy's Book.

Thanks!

When I click on the car icon in the business summary I get text driving directions, but no map. Am I missing something?

See my workaround below.

Does anyone else have the problem using Bing maps (which this app does) that it does not show the mapped route on the phone - which can only be seen in the browser)? Perhaps that's why they don't try to map your route?

This is a very good app, I use it a few times a week.

A bit off topic, but is there any app that will pull up residential numbers/addresses (white Pages)?

Also, I have noticed on many app of this type, if you use them to add a contact to your address book, and later remove the app, it also removes the associated contacts. This is something I wish WebOS would let the user make a choice on. To get by this, I usually just click the number to dial it and add it to my contacts by the phone app, but then you don't get the address added. If anyone has found a way around this let me know.

Hey, in this segment:

"Annoyingly, YPmobile can only write to its own account within Calendar, but that's a limitation of webOS, not the app itself. You can always go to Calendar and move the app into your own personal calendar if you so desire."

Did you mean to say that "You can always to go Calendar and move the *event* into your own personal calendar..."?

Aha! I see what AT&T is doing, simply pushing their own app. Developed by AT&T Interactive...still looks like a good app though.

Looks good. Shame it's not available in the UK...

Would be especially useful given that Google Maps on the Pre doesn't understand UK postcodes (zip codes) :-/

Nice workaround to the fact that you can't get map directions.

If you add the listing to Contacts, you can go to Contacts, touch the address, and it will put you directly into Google Maps. This gives you directions with a map and all the other Google Maps features. (Google Maps loads on my Pre Plus in less than 9 seconds from tap.)

A feature I particularly like when traveling with Google maps is that it places you on the map and you can see where you are relative to your destination as you travel (and you can reroute from your current location to where you're going if you get lost).

Flip back to YPMobile and touch the Contacts icon again and it asks if you want to delete it. This keeps your Contacts from getting cluttered with places you just visit once.

This Contacts workaround is important because you can't copy and paste the address into Google or Bing maps.

There's a yp mobile in the the where app using google maps instead of bing.

I to have been using this app since day one. I tried (up until last week) to convince my wife to add it to Her Pre. Now that She has it, She cant live without it. This is My "Go To App" when looking for any business number or address...

womens ugg boots womens ugg boots mens ugg boots mens ugg boots kids ugg boots kids ugg boots UGG Boots Accessories UGG Boots Accessories ugg boots ugg boots uggs uggs ugg sale ugg sale ugg boots sale ugg boots sale cheap ugg boots cheap ugg boots ugg australia ugg australia winter boots winter boots discount ugg boots discount ugg boots cheap uggs cheap uggs uggs on sale uggs on sale australia ugg boots australia ugg boots ugg boots 2010 ugg boots 2010 ugg boots sydney ugg boots sydney ugg boots melbourne ugg boots melbourne ugg boots perth ugg boots perth ugg boots australia ugg boots australia

YPMobile is just like having a full Yellowpages Book on my Palm & it works just fine, therefore I give it 5 STARS and athumbs up!

Have found a lot of errors when searching for diesel fuel, either the station listed doesn't even have diesel, the price is wrong or directions do not take you to a gas station. There needs to be a way to correct or update info.