Zanykazoo – Speed Dial the Internet

Telephone numbers are pretty amazing things if you think about it. You punch a few digits into any phone and instantly connect to anyone in the world. But long ago someone thought that wasn’t quite fast enough and invented speed-dial. So instead of hitting a bunch of numbers you can type one number that does the same thing.

Zanykazoo is kind of like that, only it’s for searching the internet. Convinced that we don’t need more search apps, especially on Windows Phone 7 where search is such an integrated part of the OS? Zanykazoo may change your mind. It’s built around the concept of search shortcuts, and the idea is that instead of going to, say, Wikipedia.org in your browser or using a Wikipedia app to do a search, you can just go to the Zanykazoo searchbox, type ‘w’ (the shortcut for Wikipedia) then your query. So searching for something like Malaysia would be ‘w malaysia ’ in Zanykazoo. Tapping the Go button or pressing return on the keyboard opens the browser, takes you to Wikipedia, and does the search. You can create as many of these shortcuts as you like, keep them as ‘favorites’ and they all work the same way.

Zanykazoo ships with a set of default favorites and a list of additional search urls you can add to your favorites. You can add or remove favorites from your list, and each favorite can be edited to make it personal. You can change the name, shortcut letters, and even the url for any favorite. So if you wanted, for example, several versions of Twitter search, each with a different shortcut and url pattern, that’s easy to do. Another option is that you can make one favorite a default. This allows you to use that default without typing it’s shortcut into the search box. Bing is the the default out of the box but any favorite can be set as the default. So if you were a day trader and wanted to quickly check stocks during the day, you could make Yahoo! Finance your default. Then typing GE, for example, into the Zanykazoo searchbox without a shortcut would search Yahoo! Finance and give you the result for GE’s stock.

One very cool use of this app is to use what are called ‘Super Shortcuts.’ A Super Shortcut is essentially the same as any other shortcut but with the query built in. To make it clear how this works here is an example. If the shortcut for Google News is ‘n’, and the url is ‘http://news.google.com/m/news?q=’. To follow news about tsunamis you would go to Zanykazoo and type ‘n tsunami’.  To turn this into a Super Shortcut I might create a favorite called ‘Tsunami News’, give it a shortcut of ‘tn’ and a url of ‘http://news.google.com/m/news?q=tsunami’. By including my query term in the url, now all I need to type into the Zanykazoo searchbox is ‘tn’ and press enter and I’m taken directly to Google news with tsunami as my query. Super Shortcuts can also be used as a simple favorites list for any website, whether you’re searching it or not.

Zanykazoo is most valuable when it’s easy to use often (pinning to the home screen is a good idea). But it’s fast and actually kind of fun to create shortcuts to your favorite sites. Zanykazoo is built to address one of the key challenges found on any smartphone: how to get more done with as little typing as possible. It presents a unique and productive solution to that problem, and does it in a way that can be as custom to you as your phone.

Get Zanykazoo in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Try it for free or buy the full version for $.99.

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