Sure there’s an app for that, but when you’re looking to plan out an entire day from your smartphone, shuffling between multiple services can be more hassle than it’s worth. That’s where Vurb, a venture-funded startup out of San Francisco, is hoping to step in.
Vurb attempts to streamline Web and app searches by pulling everything together into its eponymous iOS app, released Thursday. For example, planning a night out can require jumping between various apps.
To solve that, Vurb presents results and information in streamlined “cards,” which contain almost everything a user would need to know about a subject or place, from reviews to directions. Cards can then be compiled into decks, which can be shared with other Vurb users and even with those who haven’t downloaded the app.
"Search takes you to point A and then sends you away," Vurb CEO and founder Bobby Lo told International Business Times. "What we're trying to do is take you from A to B to C to D and all the way to the end of your task. And when that's finished, give you a way to assemble, share and communicate that information to others."
Vurb gathers its data from partners, including Yelp, Foursquare, Rotten Tomatoes and Tastemade. More are expected to join in the near future, according to the company. Vurb can also launch users into non-partner apps on their device. For example, if you’re looking for directions to a restaurant, Vurb checks what mapping apps users have installed and can directly launch into them.
At least 88 percent of the time spent on a smartphone is on an app, according to Comscore, so Vurb is looking to mine the territory where users are most often found.
While Vurb is the latest attempt at getting mobile app search right, it's not the first. Google and Facebook attempt this through a process called deep linking, which allows search crawlers to find exactly where information is stored on an app. But each have their own standards on how those links should be formatted, according to Re/Code.
For now, iPhone users will be the first to have the opportunity to take Vurb for a spin. But an Android version is in development, according to the company. Founded in 2011, Vurb has raised $10 million in funding and was the winner of TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2014, a startup competition. Some of its backers include Redpoint Ventures, CRV and Dropbox co-founder Drew Houston.