Digital Insights

Can Vurbs Deck of Cards Trump Google’s Hand?

Published: April 3, 2015

Vurb’s recent app launch is a dagger pointed straight at the heart of what many observers in the tech community believe to be Google’s biggest weakness in the mobile arena: it’s all-powerful search functionality is essentially build around lists of web results that make navigation a real chore for the mobile device user.

Vurb was designed from the ground up to provide a mobile friendly touch. Users can forget about link clicking by laying out a sequence of content and contextual ideas in the form of shareable cards that can be pulled from a host of partnered apps without excessive typing or referring back to the home screen.

What’s Behind Vurb’s Game Plan?
Vurb has positioned itself to address the problem of the fragmented state of the mobile app community, where information continues to be siloed from one resource to another with little thought given to the difficulties imposed on forcing desktop functional limitations onto the mobile user.

  • Mobile usage is increasing all the time with no end in sight. The typical mobile user spends at least 30 hours on the phone each month, uses more than 29 different apps, and sends at least 760 text messages.
  • Mobile search navigation is fragmented and difficult for users to maneuver their way through. Apps are a workable alternative, but searching across multiple apps is still cumbersome. Even relatively simple tasks typically require juggling multiple apps that have no shared context.
  • Sharing with friends and family is difficult. Once you finally assemble all of the information you need, making plans and sharing comments and suggestions is awkward. Texting is always a possibility but fails to take advantage of the fully functional mobile app, and still forces recipients to launch their own apps to participate.

While many apps do a decent job of handling their respective tasks, there is no contextual framework that holds everything together. What is clearly needed is something that helps tie the apps together, and makes them function as a single entity.

How Vurb Works
Vurb’s answer is the Vurb Card, a portable medium that allows users to connect with search information and relevant apps. Drawing information and resources from multiple apps, Vurb Cards helps users connect the dots and fill in the blanks without having to switch between different apps and multiple screens.

Say you’re planning a big night out on the town. You can create an image grid showing movies currently playing in your area. Click on a title that looks interesting and you’ll receive a description of the movie, the cast, and recent reviews. Click the Showtimes button and access a listing of nearby theaters, along with a tickets available option to purchase online. The Nearby Places button brings you a selection of bars and restaurants to round out your evening. Selecting a particular restaurant brings you a menu, map, and an option to make a reservation.

Best of all, everything unfolds on a single screen – with no need to complicate things with multiple pop-open tabs. Save everything in a Deck and share it with friends in a text or Facebook posting.

How does Vurb Compare with Google Now Cards?
Users choose the Google Now Cards from among 40 different apps such as sports, weather, event and time reminders, and the customized Card selection appears only when it’s relevant, based on such metrics as time and location; Vurb offers the user more flexibility in creating a set of customized Vurb Cards on demand.

Sharing information from Google Now Cards is currently limited to sharing only certain personal metrics such as trip arrival times with your Google+ connections; Vurb allows sharing of your complete Card Deck with virtually anyone.

Google Now is available for a variety of platforms, including iOS, Android, personal computers, Google Glass, and wearables; Vurb is currently available only for iOS users, although an Android version is reportedly in the works.

Image Courtesy of the Vurb Blog