- Category: November 2011
The Internet has had a good run. More than two billion people are connected around the world, and there's no shortage of fascinating and valuable information flowing our way.Sadly the Internet isn't ready for smartphones. The screens are too small; searching a search list of millions of links simply doesn't deliver the goods on the fly.
An Israeli start-up has developed a "fix" for the mobile internet: Do@ (pronounced "do at") aims to "app-ify" the web. The do@ platform changes the traditional search paradigm of web links by merging search and apps in real-time, delivering the top web apps that specifically answer any query a user posts.
The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs declared that on a mobile device, "search hasn't happened, what is happening is that [people] are spending all of their time in apps." The beautiful simplicity of these single-use apps is also their major pitfall: you have to open the apps one at a time to search in them.
Do@, by contrast, allows users to search across apps - currently more than 1,000 of them. If a user likes the results that Do@ delivers, they never have to open the individual apps. Users don't even have to have a specific app on their phone to view a neatly organized result. If Do@ decides that Flixster has the best reviews or trailers of a new movie, users don't need to install Flixster before the content displays within Do@.
If a website doesn't have its own app, Do@ will work with the site administrators to app-ify their content, often for free because Do@ makes money from apps that sell products. If a user buys a movie ticket online, Do@ takes a cut. Buy a new hard drive on the Web and Do@ makes a few dollars. In this way, Do@ hopes to always be available free of charge to users.
Even for established search engines like Google, the search of app-content has been a blank spot. Everybody can imagine that it would be helpful for smartphone owners not only to browse mobile websites but also their hundreds of thousands of apps.
Do@ is an open platform, connecting directly to mobile optimized web apps developed by publishers and app developers. Instead of delivering links for each query, do@ returns a series of HTML5 based "web-apps" from top publishers who specialize in the topic of the query. Results from do@ are unique for every user and prioritized based on a user's preference and the preferences of their social networks.
Time will tell if do@ will keep up the momentum and live up to its promise, but it is definitely worth watching!
By Daniela La Marca