Why Mobile Search Needs to Change

Fixing search isn’t enough. We can do better.

From the good old days of “surfing the web” to mobile app hopping…

It’s amazing how our world has changed with the evolution of Internet technology. I still remember the days of using dial-up Internet and surfing the web, moving from blue link to blue link, never knowing where I’d eventually land.

Today, we have more information at our fingertips than ever before — and rather than being tethered to a desktop computer, we’re doing things on our mobile devices in an app-centric world.

With the wealth of information available to us, we’ve come to rely on search engines, organizational tools, and intelligent assistants to help us locate and interpret all the information out there. But at the end of the day, we’re still dealing with information and services siloed from each other, whether it’s in the form of windows, tabs, or mobile apps.

So, I started Vurb to solve this problem, and we began with a mission to reinvent the notion of “Surfing the Internet” to bring fluidity and seamlessness to today’s fragmented experiences.

It’s more than just search — the entire mobile experience needs to evolve

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1. People are using their mobile devices more than ever. Each month we spend 30 hours on our phone using over 29 apps and sending over 760 text messages. A good portion of that time each month is spent on social and search apps alone. (See full infographic)

2. Mobile search and navigation is broken. Apps provide us with rich experiences, so we use browsers and conventional web search as a last resort. However, there no good way to search across apps and accomplishing simple tasks can involve multiple, siloed apps that lack shared context.

3. Finding apps is tough. With over 1.4 million iPhone apps available, discovering the right app to use at any one time is incredibly difficult. People have to already know which app to download or rely on recommendations. As a consequence, app publishers are purchasing ads everywhere just to get found.

4. Sharing is cumbersome. Once you finally find what you need, making plans or suggestions with friends is difficult to communicate and share. We text names of places, movies, and other information back and forth, which still requires our friends to launch their own apps to fill in the blanks.

We need apps because the companies making them are the best at what they do. What’s missing is a contextual layer that brings everything together. We’ve started to see recognition of the importance of apps working together with the rise of app deep linking as an industry trend.

Enter Vurb

Our solution revolves around the idea of the Vurb Card. It’s a portable, interchangeable, and intelligent medium that connects you to information and relevant apps and services. By bringing together Cards across multiple categories (e.g., places, movies, music), we’re helping you get things done — all from a single place.

The Vurb Way:

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1. Cohesive search — Find places, movies, TV, music, and more with information like location, trailers, ratings, rankings, and reviews.

2. Actionable information — View ratings and reviews, and movie trailers; plan activities and book services, reservations, and tickets.

3. Sharable formats — With a simple swipe, share rich Vurb Cards rather than antiquated text messages. Combine Cards into Vurb Decks to share everything from plans to lists of your favorite music, videos, and more, and follow your friends and other Vurb tastemakers.

At the end of the day, we’re here to create an amazing experience around all the wonderful apps and services that are out there today.

I’m very excited to announce that Vurb is now available for download in the Apple App Store. We deserve a better mobile experience, and we’d love you to join us in our mission.

Bobby Lo, Founder of Vurb

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Vurb’s mission is to create a smarter, more connected digital world, empowering people globally to do more of what they want — all in one place.

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