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Tap into Izik: New tablet-friendly search

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man using tabletThe reviews are in on the first search engine app optimized for tablets. Izik (pronounced EYE-zik), a free app by Blekko, might just have you clicking something besides Google. Instead of a list of links with text explanations, Izik is a visual search- result provider.

According to Blekko, the goal was to change search to be more touch-friendly on tablets and remove the ­traditional “10 blue links” with an image-rich layout. The app itself is a web browser. Izik fills the screen with images, so a search-results page looks more like a magazine than a list of links.

Type in search results and Izik provides a series of modules with images to give you a better idea of what you’re getting when you tap a link.

As a Brafton editorial explains, Izik search results are divided into categories that appear at the bottom of the screen. It suggests trending search topics in visual boxes that scroll with a swipe gesture. Swiping vertically scrolls through pages and identifies categories related to search topics. Swiping horizontally shows results within related categories, and tapping category headlines expands results vertically. The search box at the top of the screen gives you topics as you type and breaks down results into categories as you search.

You can share your searches via Facebook and Twitter, but you can’t share it via email. The search engine also links to Wikipedia and Fandango.

 “We think every search engine is going to look like this in five years,” Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta says.

Izik is available as an Android or Apple app and requires IOS 6 or later.

— Adapted from “Blekko’s Izik tablet app presents branded content in a new way,” Brafton Editorial, brafton.com; “Meet Izik: Tablet-Friendly Search From Blekko,” Thom Craver, searchenginewatch.com; “A Search Engine Made for Mobile Devices,” Claire Cain Miller, The New York Times Bits Blog.

What Izik offers

  • Swipe vertically to see more search categories
  • Swipe horizontally to view more results within categories
  • Expand results vertically by tapping category headings
  • Quick answer boxes provide clarity at the top of search results
  • Pinch results to share on Facebook and Twitter

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