An independent developer has created a Google Maps mashup that is basically another way to navigate Citysearch business profiles in Google Maps. The mashup has also recently been optimized for the iPhone.
This isn’t an iPhone native app that can be downloaded from the App Store, but rather a Web-based tool accessed through the device’s Safari browser and optimized for the iPhone screen. The difference is parallel to that of Web-based e-mail versus a desktop e-mail client — there are subtle differences in performance and features.
The Web-based tool also requires that users take the extra step of going to their mobile browsers and typing in http://mapmash.googlepages.com/citysearch.htm instead of just tapping an application icon on the home screen (though savvy iPhone users will add a bookmark to the home screen, rendering access as easy as that of a native app).
Most of all, this could be a model for Citysearch for a local search application that plays well on the iPhone — something the company is likely thinking of currently. Like others that had iPhone Web-based tools before creating native apps for the App Store (i.e., Yellowpages.com), we could see something from Citysearch soon.
This would be a logical step for the company and fitting to the map-based local search that is being conditioned among iPhone users by the likes of Yellowpages.com, WHERE and Loopt. Citysearch could utilize its branding strength to compete within this still relatively small grouping of local iPhone apps.