APP OF THE DAY: BT Phone Book (Android)
Today we see the connected revolution come full circle as a mobile application revives the very thing that smartphones helped kill off all those years ago. The Yellow Pages has made the leap from the door stop in our hallways to a service online and now it is the turn for that other great household tome to do the same. Welcome once again to the Phone Book.
BT Phone Book
- Android Market
BT Phone Book - as created and developed by Grapple Mobile - is not a complicated app and what it does, others already have done for quite a while. What's really refreshing to see though, is that the business pages guide is integrated really, really nicely on Android - to the point where it might be worth ditching the rest.
The front page interface offers you a choice of categories to search under or a field you can type in yourself for something more specific. You can search by name or genre and it'll take your GPS location to look in your area by default, but there's nothing to stop you hunting down services elsewhere as well.
The app then churns through the BT Phone Book database and pulls up a list of options with proximity, links to websites, star ratings, reviews, phone numbers, addresses and anything you could need. It'll also show you where the businesses are on a map as well as supply Google Maps links of how to get there by car, on foot or public transport. Essentially, it's everything you need to know.
The only things that are holding it back at the moment is that not every business has bothered to put itself in the Phone Book over the last few years, with Google indexing offering more relevance. You'll always get plenty of results through the app but not necessarily everything. The other slight annoyance is that because the service is new, there are basically no reviews nor ratings for the businesses as yet.
Once that comes together, or BT agrees a deal with another data rich review service, then it's going to be a real winner. For now, it'll just have to settle for being a damn smooth, if ever so slightly dull, bit of software development. Definitely worth a look.