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Inquisitor for iPhone goes global

Inquisitor for iPhone was launched just a few weeks ago in the United States, and the response has been great. Right now, 44 of 46 reviews on the App Store rate it 4 or 5 stars, and the comments have been very kind:

“Hands down, this is the best search experience for the iPhone… Super fast, elegant design that saves you time typing by offering query suggestions as you type… You have to try this and see how amazingly fast it is. You won’t be disappointed!”

“Best. Search. Ever.”

“Better than Google. Easiest and fastest mobile search with high relevancy results.”

Today, we’re pleased to announce that Inquisitor is now available in 11 additional countries: Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand.

Please check it out on your local App Store – we hope you enjoy it! If your country isn’t on this list, stay tuned and we’ll keep you up to date as the rollout continues.

Inquisitor for iPhone launched

It took far too long for reasons I’ll never know, but Apple has finally approved the Inquisitor app for the iPhone.

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).

Coming Soon…

Inquisitor for iPhone... coming soon!

Inquisitor for Firefox and Internet Explorer (beta)

Inquisitor for Firefox and IE

Today, I’m pleased to share some exciting news about Inquisitor – the pioneering instant search experience that brings instant web search and suggestions to your browser search box. Inquisitor originally had been available exclusively for the Safari browser on Mac OS X, but as of today it is now also available (in beta form) for both Firefox (on Mac and PC) and Internet Explorer 7/8 (on Windows XP and Vista).

These releases are possible thanks singularly to the hard work of the very talented software engineering teams at Yahoo! It’s no easy task to develop and deliver a consistent user experience across three totally different platforms, on a tight schedule to boot. The people who worked on this project – engineers, QA, management – have done a great job and deserve all the credit for pulling this off.

Please note that these releases are considered beta software, so there may be some rough edges. All feedback is welcome and is very helpful to us in the continued refinement of this software.


Inquisitor 3.2

I’m pleased to announce today the immediate availability of Inquisitor 3.2. This release is the first significant release since Inquisitor was acquired by Yahoo!, and we’ve worked hard to keep the essence of the project intact, all the while bringing onboard some cool Yahoo! technology.

On the technology side, we’ve rebuilt the Yahoo! search results component around the new Yahoo! Search BOSS platform. One great thing we get from this technology a performance boost over the previous implementation. Naturally, we want our instant results to be as “instant” as possible, so this is a fantastic development. We’ve also fully transitioned our keyword suggestions & autocompletion technology to Yahoo’s with the end result being more relevant and useful suggestions.

Independent of these core changes is a slicked up visual design that’s less cramped and congested than previous designs. It’s slightly more spacious and important visual elements like the history indicators are more prominent.

Finally, we’re pleased to now support Inquisitor in eight new languages beyond English (Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and German).

If all that weren’t enough, I’ve also redesigned the Inquisitor website, just for the heck of it.

Ultimately this release sets the tone for Inquisitor’s new path, and I’m confident we’ve found the right balance of respecting the past and investing in the future.

Inquisitor joins Yahoo!

Today, I am very pleased to announce that Yahoo! has acquired the rights to Inquisitor, my instant search extension for Safari.

For those unfamiliar, Inquisitor is a pioneering software extension that provides as-you-type instant search directly within the Safari web browser. Inquisitor makes navigating the web fast and effortless by providing instant search results within an unobtrusive pop-down window. It also performs live autocompletion, prioritizes results based on the user’s search history, and gives the user extensive control over their search experience.

I look forward to assisting Yahoo! in refining and extending the Inquisitor user experience beyond where it is today. I truly believe that Inquisitor and its users can only benefit, both from Yahoo’s resources and attention, and from the product integration possibilities that would have been impossible to pursue on my own.

It’s important to note that while I will continue to be the lead developer behind Inquisitor for Safari, I will not be joining Yahoo! as an employee. I have every desire and intention to remain an independent developer for the Mac, meaning that Inquisitor, Xtorrent, and NewsFire will all continue to be equal priorities in my life.

Inquisitor 3.1

Inquisitor 3.1 is now available for download. This release improves performance, simplifies the process for switching search providers, and removes affiliate links from the program. For new users, Yahoo! is now the default search provider, however users are free as always to change this as they so desire.

Inquisitor 3

In response to user feedback, Inquisitor 3.0 (v52) now explicitly tags product/affiliate links in search results and, furthermore, now includes an user preference to disable these links all together.

Inquisitor is freeware, made possible by the inclusion of affiliate links. This revenue source is small but critical in ensuring Inquisitor’s future development. If you choose to disable these links, please seriously consider donating to Inquisitor as an alternate means of support.


Inquisitor for Leopard

It’s been quite unclear for many months what the status of Inquisitor would be upon the arrival of Mac OS X Leopard. The official word was that extensions like Inquisitor would be banned from the system, and while workarounds began to quickly appear on the scene, a more solid footing was always hoped for. Now that Leopard has shipped, the picture is more clear.

The short story is this… Inquisitor works. The shipping Leopard did not completely remove extensions, it simply has imposed stronger security conditions on them. Because of the new conditions, Inquisitor installations carried over from Mac OS X Tiger will not work. Any Leopard users will need to download and run the newly packaged Inquisitor 3.0 (v49) installer that has been rebuilt to accommodate the new Leopard environment, and after that Inquisitor should work just fine.

So, for now we should be all set. That said, I don’t doubt that Apple will create more headaches for us the next time around.

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Inquisitor 3, present and future

Inquisitor 3.0 (v43) is now available for download. This release restores instant search results for users using Google.com (US) as their search source.

This minor release aside, I’d like to talk about something a bit more serious. It’s been widely reported that Apple will be eliminating the Input Manager construct in Leopard, which is the mechanism Inquisitor uses to add its features to Safari. Quite simply, if the reports are correct, Apple will effectively be sounding the death knell for Inquisitor (and the many other popular application extensions users rely on).

For me, this is deeply saddening news. Inquisitor started as a crazy idea conceived of on an airplane, and has grown far beyond my expectations into a community with hundreds of thousands of loyal users. Inquisitor provides a unique user experience that streamlines the common task of searching the web, and using Safari without it feels like taking a step backwards. I had been looking forward to taking things to the next level through new features and further refinement of the Inquisitor user experience, but it now appears that my hands have been tied.

I realize that I’m but one person who has no ability to influence policy at Apple. That said, if you as an Inquisitor user feel disappointed by this, you should probably send some feedback to Apple, though I don’t know if anyone is listening.