JAMAICA Yellow Pages (JYP) has finally launched their Blackberry app. This is good news for those Blackberry users who are Yellow Pages loyalists, and have to go through the trouble of retrieving the Jamaica YP homepage from their browser bookmarks every time they want to use the service.
The Blackberry app, which was launched earlier this month, follows on the heels of their Jamaica YP mobile app for Android and Apple users, both launched in April of this year.
"Research has shown that in the Caribbean, Blackberry is said to have over 80 per cent of the consumer and business market. In Jamaica, over 70 per cent of the mobile market use or own a Blackberry. With our newly released JYP Mobile App for Blackberry users we can now tap into that market and, our clients and end-users can now easily 'Find and Discover' any business listed in the JYP with just a click on their BlackBerry mobile device," said Alleyne Graham, marketing manager at Jamaica Yellow Pages.
But, if this is true, why did Jamaica YP wait almost six months before releasing their Blackberry app?
Apple and Android users may be laughing and mumbling among themselves that it's simply because Blackberry is behind in everything, but according to Kevin Lascelles, media consultant at Jamaica Yellow Pages, they had a very good reason.
"We know that the majority of mobile Jamaicans who would have access to the app mainly use the Blackberry and we wanted to ensure that it could work on all Blackberry platforms or operating systems before we launched it," he told TEENage at the Kingston launch of Caribbean Beta at Jamaica Pegasus last week.
The Jamaica YP mobile app for Blackberry boasts similar features to that of its Android and Apple counterparts.
"There's not much difference, maybe just a slight difference aesthetically, but they all work the same," Lascelles confirmed.
The app allows users to search by text entry, which also allows the results to be sorted by relevance, distance, or alphabetical order and provides list and map views. Another feature we like is the click-to-call dialling, which allows you to dial the recently retrieved phone number directly from the app. The mobile app is also not limited to just businesses in Kingston, but users can use it to search for businesses islandwide, making it a perfect companion for holiday road trips.
"A lot of TEENs, especially university students have BlackBerrys, and the younger generation is very tech-savvy and the app is very hip, so they would be more drawn to this kind of application when finding local spots. Some of them eat out a lot, so there is a restaurant icon which lists all local restaurants. It's information at your fingertips without you having to go for a hard copy," Lascelles said, stating that TEENs were a big part of their target market.
TEENage's one complaint about the Jamaica YP mobile app was that it does not list the opening hours of its businesses. Even though this is not the standard in the physical copy of the phone book, those of us already spoiled by technology are used to a few added perks provided by our mobile applications.
"It's something that we can look into, to make it the standard that all companies list their opening hours, maybe in a later update," Lascelles said promisingly.
The Jamaica YP Blackberry app can be downloaded for free from Blackberry App World or from the Jamaica Yellow Pages website www.jamaicayp.com.