X

Do@ iPhone search app delivers live Web sites, not links

Forget those boring search results links. A new iPhone app gets visual with contextual search that brings you entire Web sites for your results.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Content strategy | Team leadership | Audience engagement | Tips and FAQs | iPhone | Samsung | Android | iOS
Jessica Dolcourt
2 min read
Do@ for the iPhone
Don't search by links, search by pages. Do@

Imagine that you're searching for a restaurant or for a movie time on your iPhone, but instead of receiving a long list of links, you see thumbnail images for Web sites instead. Meet Do@ (doo-at) (download), a newly launched iPhone freebie that does just that.

With Do@, search results aren't just thumbnails for pages you have to load, they're active Web sites that you can enter, explore, and exit without losing the rest of those live site results.

Search begins with a query as usual, and when you start typing, the app supplies suggestions--not for common phrases, but for contextual categories to narrow your search. For example, type "Inception" and you'll get to pick from suggestions like "Inception @search," "@movies," "@Netflix," and so on. Type sushi and you'll see restaurant, recipe, and Amazon category types. The app launches with about 30 categories and more than 400 searchable Web apps.

There are all the usual social networking tie-ins like sharing on Twitter, Facebook, and via e-mail, and marking favorites. The app is notably rich as well, with tricks like being able to scrub through a filmstrip of visual search results, and scroll beyond a first page of results to a second, even third batch. The more you pick a site in your search results, the closer to the top of your results list you'll see it on subsequent searches (you can remove the app to downshift its importance in future attempts.) If your friends use Do@, their recommendations will also surface higher in your results queue.

Do@ search for the iPhone
Do@

Do@ also has its discovery and business angles in mind. App publishers, let's say Yelp, for instance, can choose if tapping a result will open the Yelp native app if you have it installed. Otherwise, Do@ serves up the HTML-based Web app by default. Do@ also intends to incorporate site promotions in the results stream.

Do@'s media and lifestyle focus is clear, as is its goal to revolutionize search. Unlike other apps that claim such a feat, Do@'s approach is actually innovative, interesting, and useful. That was our impression after the demo, at least, but we'll continue with real-world testing in the ensuing weeks.

There's still room for growth, as well. For example, we hope to see voice search enabled in future updates.

For all your friends with Android smartphones, Do@ plans to release a sister app for Android...sometime "in the near future."