Yahoo announced today on its blog that it has [finally] released not one, but two different search applications for the iPhone. The first app is called ‘Yahoo! Search’ [iTunes link]. Just like the name suggests, it provides a native optimized mini version of the search engine for the iPhone. Though, it is not as simple as it sounds. The application also offers “tightly embedded maps, localized query suggestions that display as you type, intelligent search history, voice search, and rich content and information.” The Yahoo! Search app is currently available in 22 different markets worldwide.
The second application is called ‘Yahoo! Sketch-a-Search’ [iTunes link], and it’s very interesting. The application allows users to draw a shape or boundary on their phone’s map to look up local establishments within the bordered area. No need to type anything. The app currently only brings up restaurant results in the United States, though other kinds of local businesses are expected to be added in the future. Additionally, the service will extend to other markets around the world. Some people are comparing the app to Yelp, considering it allows users to read reviews, rating, see photos, get directions, and more.
Both applications are now available on the App Store for free. It’s important to take into account that Yahoo is very late to the iPhone app party. Bing launched its official iPhone application back in December 2009, while Google released its app a long time ago.