Canpages rolls out voice-activated iPhone app

The Yellow Pages is increasingly becoming a giant, useless paperweight, full of static information and hardly able to compete with the breadth of info available on the internet. Besides the traditional Yellow Pages, which has its own website, there are also online competitors such as Canpages, which adds rich media, mapping and other functions to online business listings. But Canpages just took listings a step further by moving them to the mobile space via a new iPhone app.

The new Canpages iPhone app offers some fairly deep search features, but the hands down “gee whiz” feature is also its simplest. You speak the subject and location you want the app to retrieve into the phone, the Canpages app cogitates, and after a few moments the results are listed on the phone. While the speech recognition isn’t perfect, neither is any other app with a speech interpreter. Users also have the option of typing in their search term, but the speech feature is so convenient that it’s likely they won’t bother.

The features available with each listing aren’t as extensive as on Canpages website, but the iPhone app is built more for on-the-go convenience than rich media. As is, a listing contains  the business name, phone number, a website link (if available),  a map pinpoints the physical location of the firm, and the ability to add the information to the phone’s contact list.

As more and more people go mobile and efforts to go green mean less need for hulking paper phone books, apps like this will prove more and more useful. And like the Yellow Pages itself, the Canpages app might sit unused a fair amount of time, but when you do need it, you’ll be glad you got it.