Blekko's "Izik" Offers Tablet-Tailored Search
While search engines like Google and Bing have offered tablet search applications and websites for their respective products, these solutions offer an experience that isn’t far removed from what you’d find on the desktop. Enter Blekko, the self-proclaimed “spam-free search engine,” which today launched a new tablet search application called “Izik.” Pronounced EYE-ZIC (Isaac works too, I suppose), the application is available for the iPad and Android tablets. A mobile version with the same look and feel as the tablet applications is available at Izik.com.
Izik wants to offer a better search experience than the others. So, how does it stack up?
In the screenshots below, you can see how a search for “besttechie” appears in Izik, Google, and Bing.
As you can see, Izik sorts results into “Looking For,” “Top Results,” and “Images.” The “Looking For” section appears to display the site that Izik believes you’re looking for, while the “Top Results” and “Images” sections display website and image results for your keyword phrase, respectively. The “Top Results” and “Images” sections can be expanded to display more results. You can also swipe from side to side in these sections to see more items.
You can conduct other types of searches, as well, and be greeted with different types of sections as a result. For instance, searching for a location in a certain city will display with results about that city, as well as sections related to the type of location (restaurant, hotel, etc.) you’re looking for. If you search for a person or company that is particularly well-known, you could get a “Quick Answer” at the top of the screen that gives you a brief rundown of the person or organization you searched for. The short biographies and instant answers are similar to what Google is trying to do with its own search engine and with Google Now.
Google’s tablet interface is similar to its desktop interface, though there is some optimization going on to ensure that tablet users have an easier time navigating the site. Google tends to do a better job incorporating other types of results (news and videos, for example) as well as providing similar search query suggestions. Bing is barely distinguishable at all from the desktop site, and in my search, didn’t offer any alternative types of media in its results. In the end, Google’s results wind up better than Izik’s, but the Izik user interface is much more friendly to tablet users than Google’s or Bing’s. If Blekko can increase the quality of Izik’s results, and perhaps sprinkle in some news and video results to go along with the basic website and image results, the company could have an interesting search product on its hands.
Have you checked out Izik yet? Let us know what you think.