Ask.com (Free) by Ask.com is here. We let you know this app was coming, and now, as promised, we’ve taken for a test spin. Is it worth putting another search engine on your iDevice? Read on to find out.
Ask.com (the app) is easy to use. Simply tap the microphone icon and ask your question, or type it in if you prefer. Immediately, you’ll get a list of sites with possible answers to your question. Some are relevant, some are not. This part is no different than the other search engines.
What sets Ask.com apart is the fact that you can ask your question to the community and have answers sent directly to you. First you must sign up for a free account. When you set up your profile, you can put in your own areas of expertise if you’d like questions directed to you as well.
I asked, “What sights I should see in San Francisco?”. First, I got a list of sites with San Francisco tourism suggestions, just as you would with any search engine, as well as responses from sites like Yahoo Answers. Then I tapped “Ask the Community” and got four personal responses within ten minutes. The answers weren’t too bad; though none of them blew me away. Of course you must take any advice from strangers with a grain of salt — you’ll have better luck looking for opinions rather than factual answers. You can give each answer a thumbs up, thumbs down, or flag it as inappropriate.
You choose the kinds of self-proclaimed experts you’d like the question asked to, and you can view their responses in “My Q&A”. You also get an email with each answer. You can also browse what other people are asking, and answer questions yourself if you want. In “Settings”, you can set up push notifications to be sent when new questions and/or new answers come for you.
Ask.com has some nice features. Generally, your search results are going to be quite similar to other search engines, but you do get the added feature of being able to ask an online community for immediate (well, pretty fast, anyway), specific, and personalized feedback. For free, it’s definitely worth the download.