Taptu has grown up quite a lot since I last played with their service. In my September 2007 review I said:
“If you’re adapt at Google (NSDQ: GOOG) than Taptu may or may not be useful to you. Simply adding words such as “wiki” or “lyrics” after a search query usually makes Google get an idea of what it is you’re trying to find.”
With the release of their Android application today, things are looking mighty different from the original, almost laughable, user interface. They’ve put a filter on web results so you only see content optimized for mobile devices. Whether or not that is a good thing is debatable. Would you prefer more search results or fewer search results optimized for your screen? They’ve also integrated the “OneRiot” service which aggregates what people are talking about at this very second on Twitter, Digg, and other social networking sites, and present those terms to you as queries you may want to plug into the Taptu service. Chances are you open a search application to find an answer to a question in your mind, not to see what the world is talking about. Then again, there may be a few of you out there who are concerned with appearing to be “in the loop” as Malcolm Tucker from “The Thick of It” would say. If you’re one of those people, then Taptu rocks.
Look, is it smart for a company like Taptu to compete with Google? Yes and No. Yes, it’s nice to see something different than the usual list of 10 links Google’s mobile optimized search engine provides. No, it’s stupid to pour resources into what is nothing more than a fancy front end, which Google can copy, to a search engine that crawls a very small subset of the internet.
Give the Taptu application a go on your Android device and let me know in the comments what you think about it.
They’ve also got an iPhone application.