People and business directory WhitePages unveiled Thursday its first iPad app, which translates many of the same features from the iPhone version to the big screen.
Replicating the nice simplicity of both the Web and other mobile versions, WhitePages for iPad lets users search its directory of over 200 million U.S. adults and businesses. Maps and driving directions can be accessed right from the app.
The iPhone version of WhitePages has been downloaded seven million times, according to the company.
Both iPhone and iPad users also now have access to a new location-based Mobile Store Locator, which offers contact information for over a million local branches of popular national business chains. It’s going to be tough for WhitePages to draw much traffic in the local market, stifled by competition from a host of location-based startups like Foursquare, reviews sites like Yelp and even catch-all services like Google.
WhitePages first showed its interest in local with the launch of a Groupon-like deal-of-the-day service called DealPop, which has been online since the summer. Whoever made that call should get a prize, since, as the latest Google-Groupon no-deal indicates, local deals is a huge space. Google allegedly offered Groupon $6 billion for the company and got denied? That’s huge.
Today’s launch comes just two years after WhitePages hit Android, BlackBerry and iPhone and just about eight months after the iPad’s release. Better late than never. Another kind of people and business directory--one with well over 500 million users--still has not released an app for the iPad. The CEO of that company doesn’t even consider it a mobile device (“Sorry. It’s a computer.”). I’m talking, of course, about Facebook and founder Mark Zuckeberg.
Nevertheless, not every Web service can afford to shun popular platforms, mobile or not. In its fiscal fourth quarter alone, ending September 25, Apple sold 4.19 million iPads. That’s a big market that WhitePages could definitely benefit from reaching.
Relatedly, WhitePages recently named Yang Cao, formerly of video chat startup TokBox, its new CTO and opened up an engineering office in Palo Alto, Calif, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Formerly, the company only had offices in Seattle, Wash. and New York, N.Y.