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Poynt Review: A Terribly Cluttered Way to Search


Using the power of several different search engines, Poynt aims to deliver the most relevant and helpful information to you, though it often misses the mark.

When you first open the app, you see a rotating carousel of search categories to choose from--Businesses, People, Restaurants, Movies, Gas, and Events--as well as a handy icon for your local weather. You can choose to let Poynt use your GPS location, or manually enter a location yourself. Poynt uses services such as Citysearch, Eventful, and OpenTable to produce search results that include websites, directions, maps, and reviews.

The Businesses and Restaurants categories provide results that include addresses, phone numbers, and maps. Although Poynt does a decent job of producing correct and relevant info, you could find most of what it offers just by conducting a Google search (which probably would be faster).

Poynt tries to set itself apart with its Movies category. Not only can you search for a movie and get showtimes, but you can also find reviews and synopses. You can save movie times to your phone’s calendar, too, for a reminder of when you need to be at the theater.

The Events category has a ton of search options, but is a cluttered mess. This category has the most pitfalls, as well--browsing or searching for events delivers results that are not very relevant. When I tried the app, searching by venue gave me results for places 20 to 30 miles away, while skipping over major events happening just a few miles from my front door. Testing this category in San Francisco--a city that always has something going on--was disappointing, as major concerts and outdoor events were missing from the search results most of the time.

The People search category allows you to look up details for people by name, phone number, or address. The service gathers the information from public records and phone book listings. Whether a person is publicly listed will affect whether they show up here, so I can't really blame Poynt for a lack of results. The Gas category, which offers a way to find the best gas prices closest to you, works just fine. I did notice some discrepancies in the accuracy of prices; given how quickly stations change their prices, though, the differences are tolerable.

Unfortunately, Poynt’s wide array of search categories doesn’t make up for the fact that the app is clunky and looks cheap. The graphics are terrible, the animations are jerky, and the search results are lackluster and messy. Poynt tries to deliver so much information that, instead of a few high-quality search results, you get a lot of mediocre ones. Let's hope that Poynt refines its app in a future update. For now, however, you're better off just doing a plain old Google search.

This story, "Poynt Review: A Terribly Cluttered Way to Search" was originally published by PCWorld.

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