I took a look at Poynt for iOS about 2 years ago. I found it a mixed bag and frustrating to use, on top of not being as feature rich as some of the similar apps on offer.

Poynt has been updated, and I still find it a frustrating experience. While features have been added like ratings for businesses and a new homescreen layout I find that the app simply does a shoddy job when searching.

For example, while searching for Japanese restaurants near me it suggested 2 judo studios. I can understand how the keyword ‘Japanese’ could get jumbled but it doesn’t happen to me on other local search apps. On some of my searches, I simply got an error message (see the gallery) referring me to the Poynt website. The app does gas price comparisons, a failing of the older version, which is a positive.

The app is free but loaded with ads. Sometimes the ads show up segregated at the bottom of the screen, but sometime they show up looking like legitimate listing of locations, and I think the ads should be kept out of the content area.

After a drive I got back home and instead of reporting my correct address, which it uses for distance calculations, it had me several streets over. When I asked for directions to a location the app asked to use Google Maps. That isn’t going to work on iOS 6 which has no Google Maps app yet. Instead, it went off to the web for Google Maps, instead of using the Apple built-in Maps app (which, as I write this, is still Google-powered). Failing that, it could have offered to use Navigon which is on my iPhone, but there is no option to do so. Some other local search apps, like Around Me will integrate with 3rd party navigation solutions.

Poynt has some laudable ideas, like adding an event to your calendar, but it botches a lot of local searches with bad information, improper locations, or guiding me to businesses that closed more than 2 years ago.

Ultimately, you have to trust the software, and I found that Poynt is wrong about as often as it is right. I’m surprised it hasn’t improved in more than 2 years.

Poynt is not universal and is primarily designed for the iPhone. It requires iOS 4 or greater.

Poynt for iOS is a miss for local search originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 18 Sep 2012 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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