Google and Microsoft haven't quite cornered the market on mobile search and directions apps, at least not yet. Infospace Find It!, built with the BlackBerry in mind, gives users multiple entry points to search businesses, people, and directions while squeezing in features not yet stocked by competitors.
To satisfy variant search methods, Find It! sorts searches by name, by category, and by maps and directions. When choosing to search by name, you can look up a business or person in or near a location. This wasn't always successful during my tests, nor was the reverse phone number lookup, a feature unique to Find It! among its better-known and more prosperous rivals. However, when Find It! did strike gold, it didn't skimp in doling it out. Upon locating an individual or business, users can click-to-call, view a map, get directions, save the entry to the address book, and see what else is nearby.
I should mention that both Microsoft's Windows Live Search for Windows Mobile and Google Maps for Mobile had their fair share of data holes--one didn't even register CNET after a search, the brute--so Find It!'s defaults are common to still-youthful mobile search.
There is a high point of Find It!'s triumph. Not only can you get directions shown on your map in list form or by each action, you can also get them dictated in a clear, strong male voice that's just a tad tinny. It's little concern when you weigh the safety benefits of voice dictation as a much more constructive and realistic solution than Google's admonition not to drive while navigating.
Find It!'s other search avenues are also intuitive, and helped by the just-for-BlackBerry interface. Users can search for establishments in one of six categories, using the map and click-to-call features and mapping. Find It! doesn't do everything, like zero in on GPS or your approximate location like Google Maps does, nor let you speak a location like Windows Live Search for Mobile. There's also no capability to share discoveries via SMS or e-mail with friends. You'll have to call them the traditional way to make a date.
However, Find It!'s robust directions interface offers BlackBerry users another viable way to seek information and get where they're going.
Infospace Find It! is available as an over the air (OTA) download and through PC installation. Visit the site from your BlackBerry or PC to download either file for your particular model.
First Look: Google Maps for Mobile with My Location
First Look: Windows Live Search Mobile