Being a BlackBerry user and abuser, I can admit that I find myself spending nearly zero time using a Phone Book. You know, those rather large books filled with names, numbers and (if you're really lucky) listings and menus of restaurants. Now, when I say "zero time", I mean when my BlackBerry device is charging or if someone else is at the computer, so pretty much almost never. I'm sure I'm not alone when I think that they're becoming nearly obsolete, especially when everything you ever wanted to know about anything is so readily available. Isn't it much easier to keep a BlackBerry device in your pocket rather than a phonebook?
Adding to the ever evolving accessibility to information is WhitePages Mobile for your BlackBerry Smartphone. Last month, Kevin let us know that this application, which had seen previous success with its Android and iPhone versions, had been unleashed upon the BlackBerry App World. Some of you may have even made use of m.WhitePages.com in your searches. From WhitePages Mobile, you can perform reverse lookups, contact management and Company searches. If you've got a few phone books lying around, stack them up, use them as a foot stool, and read on.
About WhitePages Mobile
WhitePages Mobile has been designed and developed by MangoSpring, who has partnered with WhitePages, to make this solution possible. Currently, WhitePages Mobile is only available for the Bold but, rest assured, the Curve, Pearl and Storm versions are being finalized as we speak. Look for said versions to appear within the next few weeks. As of right now, the application doesn't have access to Canadian listings, but I've been told that they will be "plugging that in soon." I was still able to look up people and businesses from the United States.
Although beautifully designed User Interfaces are a major plus, what matters the most, to me, is functionality. Luckily, WhitePages Mobile offers both. At the main menu, a row of six icons line the top third of the screen and the entry fields are displayed underneath. Let's look at each icon, starting from the left.
People - Enter in the First and Last Name of the person you are looking for, as well as their City/State or ZIP. You can search by only using the last name, but who knows how many Smiths there are in the world? Now, if you were to access your Address Book, pressing the menu button will give you the option to search for additional contact information for a particular person using WhitePages.
Business - Search for Businesses by Name or by Category (for example: AT&T or Wireless). Again, to narrow you searches, enter in the City, State or ZIP.
Reverse - The application will access your native call log and display them in this field. Also, while you are actually in your native call log, you can press the menu button and choose "Search WhitePages". Because of some limitations of the BlackBerry OS, they were unable to offer real-time CallerID, but gosh did they try. This is where the Reverse lookup really comes in handy. The application will attempt to find information on unknown numbers through a database of hundreds of millions of contacts. This is a fair work around.
Company - This feature is quite interesting and almost scary at the same time. By using the Company search, WhitePages Mobile can scour through its database. This database contains over 40 million work listings. It's possible to find contact information for an employee of a particular company.
Recent - You can find your previously retrieved search results here. This is especially handy if you're outside your coverage area and want to view contact details.
Help - We all could a little help sometime, and the help menu is there when you need it.
When you do find the correct contact (while using any search method), you will be able to see any information that is listed in WhitePages. This information includes mailing address and a basic Google Maps generated image. Pressing the menu button will allow you to see a more detailed map or obtain directions. You will also find four buttons on the contact page. You can simply call the contact, add them to your address book, send the contact information via email or get directions. When you add as a contact, you can also choose to add this information to an existing contact. After adding the person to your address book, you can see that all of the appropriate fields have been filled. The same goes for sending the contact information; the subject and body are already filled out clearly.
At first, I did have connectivity issues, but everything was up and running when I switched to WiFi and back. Any of my support issues were responded to quite quickly (Thanks Bret!). WhitePages Mobile has a lot of potential for both business and personal use. There is a cost for using this app; you're looking at $6.99 for a six month subscription. Comparing it to their free mobile site (m.whitepages.com), it does offer superior functionality, except for one feature. The free site offers a reverse address lookup where the app does not. Perhaps in future builds, the folks behind WhitePages Mobile will look at GPS support - it would make finding directions that much easier.
With access to a vast database, WhitePages Mobile is a powerful search tool. Its cost may offer some hesitation, especially with free apps like Beyond411. This is currently v1.0.0 of WhitePages Mobile, so I'm hoping to see this application grow. With features including; Company wide searches, reverse lookup and access to maps, the application is already off to an amazing start. WhitePages Mobile is available through the BlackBerry App Store for $6.99 for six months.
For more information on WhitePages Mobile, click here.