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Credible rival

Poynt for iPhone has the makings of a fine metasearch app.

Poynt for iPhone has the makings of a fine metasearch application that might become a serious contender for finding you people, businesses, restaurants, and movies. At its core, Poynt is an attractive aggregator of third-party services, including SuperPages.com (owners of YellowPages.com), CitySearch, OpenTable, and CinemaSource (with links to MovieTickets.com). Poynt uses the native Google Maps app on the iPhone to handle all mapping and directions.

Overall, Poynt's feature set is strong, with buttons for visiting the Web site where available, calling, mapping, searching nearby, streaming movie trailers, and viewing augmented reality if you have an iPhone 3GS. Instead of tapping to place a call, Poynt uses a calling gesture. As with voice search in Google Mobile app, lifting the phone to your ear triggers the action.

Unfortunately, the iPhone's call gesture sensor seems sensitive and triggered unwanted calls that kicked us out of Poynt and made us launch it anew. Also, Poynt's dining portion doesn't offer the rich experience of Yelp, Urbanspoon, or Zagat on iPhone--which bookmark listings, display images, and contain a community aspect. Poynt's dining guide is a reference that also makes it possible to place reservations for listings fed through OpenTable. The lack of voice search will be a drawback for those who prefer speaking search terms, as you can do in Google Mobile app, rather than typing them.

Despite the niggles, Poynt's publisher, Multiplied Media, has created a credible iPhone version of Poynt for BlackBerry that at least has a shot of breaking into the iPhone's ranks of high-rated search apps. At launch, Poynt is available in the US and Canada.

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