Poynt is another location based search tool for your Windows Phone. Like Yelp! and Places, the Windows Phone 7 application uses your current location as a point of reference. You have the option to search by keyword or by category.
Categories include Businesses, People, Restuarants, Movies and Gas. Regardless of your method of searching, the results Poynt generates will be within an established search radius (can be set in the apps Settings Menu). As bonuses, Poynt has your current location's weather conditions on the main page and the main page's graphics reflects the time of day at your location.
To see how well Poynt performed and how it compared to other location based search apps, ease on past the break.
Settings and Searches
Poynt has two main settings areas. The first is where you can set your location. Just tap the "Current Location" at the top of the screen. Here you can choose to use your current location or set it to another location. The second settings area is the Settings Menu where you can set your search radius, turn on/off the weather display, set your unit style and turn on/off your GPS.
While Poynt's main page will let you go directly to a search category, the category resides on a hub. Once in the hub, you can swipe left or right to change the categories. Each category's search options are a tad different.
Business Search: This is a keyword search. Just enter the name of the business or type of business (e.g. hardware) and results within your location are generated.
People Search: Another keyword search that generates results based on your current location.
Restaurant Search: While you can search restaurants by keyword, you can also search by cuisine and simply by those eating establishments close to your location.
Movie Search: Movies can be searched by genres, top ten movies, movies showing nearby, theatres nearby or by keyword.
Gas Search: Gas Station searches can be done by best price or stations nearby.
In general, the search results are the same for each search type. You get a listing of results based on your location, sorted by distance from your current location.
Tap on an individual result to get more detailed information that will vary slightly depending on the type of search.
People, Business and Restuarant Searches will generally give you the phone number and address of the result plus the following standard information:
- The ability to locate the result on a map
- Generate driving directions from your current location to the result
- Give you a website link (if available) for the result
- Send the information via email
- Make the result your search location.
Movie search results will give you standard information as well as movie listings and showtimes. Tap on one of the movies and you get detailed information about that particular movie title. Depending on the movie and theater, you can buy tickets through Poynt and watch the trailer to the movie.
Gas search results will also give you the standard information plus the specific services that result offers (e.g. Open 24 hours, ATM, Propane, Diesal, etc.).
How does it compare?
All three apps run well, return a good bit of information with the results, and is layed out nicely. Yelp! stands out amongst the three because it includes reviews/comments from users on the various businesses. But Poynt holds its own nicely when compared to Yelp! and Places. It may even surpass the two with the amount of information it can generate.
While Yelp! and Places will give you details on a movie theater, Poynt gives you not only the information about the theater's location but also what's showing, when, and additional info on each particular title. The additional information on gas stations can also be useful when traveling in uncharted territories.
Cost wise, Places will run you $2.99 (there is a free ad supported version) while Yelp! and Poynt are free. With the three being very close in performance and features, it may boil down to personal preference as to which is the best. With all three being available in some fashion for free, there's nothing stopping you from trying all three.
I found Poynt to be a stable, resourceful application that helps you find things that are nearby. You can search using the broad range of categories or search by keyword. Either way puts a lot of information at your finger tips quickly.
I like the weather information on the main screen and the changing graphics is also a nice touch. Poynt also seemed to have a little more zip to it in returning search results. If you're looking for a location based app for your Windows Phone, Poynt is worth trying.
You can find your free copy of Poynt here(opens your Zune desktop).