Late last year, I released my first iPhone app, Ski Lodge, which brought a unique experience to skiers and snowboarders with the iPhone’s combination of GPS, 3G, and rich user experience. While Ski Lodge was my first iPhone app to make it out the door, it was not the first iPhone project I began working on. That particular honour goes to today’s announcement – Inquisitor for iPhone.
The iPhone is a unique platform with many strengths, but also many limitations. A small screen means that app design needs to be uncluttered, direct, and essential. Sometimes slow and error-prone keyboard entry means that search aids are critical. Slow website loading speeds mean that users cannot afford too much back and forth.
It turns out, these limitations map well to Inquisitor’s strengths. Inquisitor’s central premise is that providing a native search experience can provide a better, more direct way to navigate to the information you want. Visiting a webpage just to find another webpage, with all the hunting, pecking, pinching and tapping that entails, can get tiresome quickly.
Inquisitor has always been about speed and simple design. Instant search suggestions attempt to complete your thoughts and save you from the keyboard. Results are designed to be easily read on the iPhone screen, so there’s no need to hunt and peck. A built-in web browser means you can flip between search results and web pages with a single tap. There’s even an extended abstract preview that hovers over webpages while they’re loading, so you’re never left staring at a blank screen. On top of it all, Inquisitor remembers your history and personalizes the experience to you.
You can get it from iTunes. At the moment it is only in the USA store, but we’re working to get it launched everywhere once a few legal hurdles are passed. Oh, and it’s free ($0.99 is so lame).