One of the oldest local search apps for the Blackberry is Beyond411.  One of the earliest reviews I found for it was in 2007 at Berryreview.com Review: Beyond411 With GPS Support AKA Berry411.  As I did my initial set of searches for local search apps, Beyond411 was always being mentioned.

Just recently the developer of app, updated it to work better on and with the GPS on the Blackberry Storm.  As any good Storm user, I downloaded Beyond411 and began to play around with it.

Beyond411 is a non frills apps that gives you lots of local search information. Some of the key features are (from their website):

  • Speed: Beyond411 launches and searches faster than other search tools
  • GPS support: Beyond411 can do searches and give driving directions based on your current location on compatible phones and carriers.
  • Blackberry address book integration
  • Local prices search using Yokel shopping search.
  • Search Plugins allow you to add and share new kinds of searches.

The search feature will allow you to search near your home, work, and “other” addresses that you preset. Also you can search:

  • Yellow Pages – local businesses by name or category
  • White pages – residential listings
  • Web search
  • Movies
  • Shopping

I reached out to the developer of Beyond411, Phil Bogle to get some more information and background info. Here is our conversation.

Q. Can you tell us what Beyond411 is/does and why you created it?
A. Beyond411 makes it easy to search for local and web information on your Blackberry.  When I created Beyond411, there was no easy way to find this information on your Blackberry.  Today, there are excellent apps like Google Maps, but Beyond411 retains an audience because of it’s emphasis on simplicity and speed.

Q. How can one get this app for their phone?
A. Just point your phone at http://thebogles.com/b411.jad, or use the form at http://thebogles.com/berry/beyond411 to email yourself an install link.

Q. What are the plugins, you have listed on the site? How do they work?
A. The search plugins are contributed by users; they allow you to do searches on a variety of web sites (e.g wikipedia) while taking advantage of Beyond411s content reformatting, search history and autocompletion, and location information.

Q. Can you tell us a little about you /company?
A. I am a developer at iLike, one of the leading social music sites on the web.  Beyond411 is a side project in my spare time, it has about 100K active users.

Q. Where do you see mobile search going in the future?
A. Search for local businesses and events will remain the most popular kind of mobile search. Mobile search will be dominated by the big players like Google with some innovation around the edges by smaller companies. Mobile advertising will become a viable business model. In the future, nearly everyone will have a smart phone with GPS and a large screen, and will install mobile apps to help them search.  Voice and image recognition will take off as ways of simplifying mobile search.

Q. Anything else you would like to add?
A. I am actively looking for partners to help me take Beyond411 to a larger audience.

Thanks for your time Phil and for you Blackberry users, here is another good local search app for your phone.