Poynt for iPhone: Like a Google, Flixster, Yelp mashup

The new Poynt supersearch app has a lot going for it, and one major problem we experienced that will keep it from catching on.

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

Article corrected 3/3/2010 at 12:00 PT (SuperPages.com supports its own version of Yellow Pages) and updated stability issues at 2:00 pm PT.

Poynt on iPhone

The field of iPhone search apps is already crowded with Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Zagat for dining; Flixster's Movies app for showtimes; YellowPages for people; and Google Mobile App for just about everything else. Now here comes Poynt, a new free iPhone search app that mashes together elements of them all.

At its core, Poynt is an aggregator of third-party services encased in an attractive wrapper. SuperPages.com powers the business listings; CinemaSource feeds you entertainment info and facilitates ticket purchases via MovieTickets.com. Poynt taps SuperPages, CitySearch, and OpenTable to find you food, and Google Maps handles all mapping and directions on its native app. With the exception of Google Maps, which kicks you out, Poynt keeps you in its environment with an in-app browser.

Poynt's feature set is strong overall, with buttons for visiting the Web site where available, calling, mapping, searching nearby, streaming movie trailers, and viewing augmented reality if you have an iPhone 3GS. Instead of tapping to place a call, Poynt employs a calling gesture. As with voice search in Google Mobile app, lifting the phone to your ear triggers the action.

Poynt for iPhone restaurant listing
Poynt integrates calling, Web lookups, and Google directions. Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

We do have minor complaints. Although Poynt lassos three services to bring dining reservations and reviews, it lacks Yelp's complete features, like viewing photos and flagging if restaurants are currently open. Other niggles: The navigation carousel on the splash screen is more stylish than seeing four static icons but is also less efficient.

Poynt's text fields dedicated to numbers should call up the iPhone's numerical keyboard, not the virtual text keyboard. Voice search is an absent feature for those who don't feel silly speaking search terms aloud in public.

The handy call gesture got us into trouble--or rather, the hardware did. With call gestures on, tapping, touching, or otherwise engaging the sensor (near the speaker) can trigger a call. We got caught in an incessant dialing loop while trying to take screenshots. If you're setting off unwanted calls too often, disabling call gestures in the iPhone Settings or minding your hands should keep you out of trouble.

Poynt's publisher, Multiplied Media, has created a credible iPhone version of Poynt for BlackBerry that at least has a shot of breaking into the iPhone's ranks of high-rated search apps. Poynt is available in the US and Canada.