Blekko has released iPhone and Android smartphone versions of its Izik search app, rounding out the firm’s pre-existing tablet and Web offerings.
The new version of Izik (which is pronounced “Isaac”) represents Blekko’s first app for smartphones and includes adds a new “What’s Nearby” feature to show banks, restaurants, movie theaters and other places of interest. Izik makes use of Blekko’s “Dynamic Inference Graph”, which filters search results into specific categories.
“We built Izik to redesign the search experience for today’s consumer, and so far the results and response have been fantastic,” said Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta said in an announcement. “Users are discovering more, typing less, and the categorical presentation of results is so intuitive and easy to users that we just completed a total overall of the user interface on Blekko.com. Now, with Izik on iOS and Android, this innovative search experience is available to users wherever they are and wherever they go.”
Izik launched first on tablets in January, amassing almost 200,000 installs of the app to date. Blekko’s core search engine attracts 5 million queries per day and boasts roughly 12.5 million users.
Blekko got its start in 2007 and released its search engine in open beta in 2010. The service boasts a “slashtag” feature that allows users to customize their searches based on a particular perspective, category or slant.
I took Izik for iPhone on a quick spin and found it to be responsive and relatively clean. However, the value proposition of the service remains elusive to me. Categorized search is certainly helpful, but Google has its own category tabs and sections. Blekko’s results seemed much more designed for broad higher-level terms, such as the name of an event or TV show, rather than highly targeted queries designed to find a specific page or obscure piece of information. Simply put, Izik’s a nicely built app, but it doesn’t convince me to start using it regularly.
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