Review: Bang On

This app might win the award for most clever app name of 2012. Bang On is a DuckDuckGo search app for your iPhone that will set you back $1.99. Say what?! Doesn’t DuckDuckGo already have a free search app? Yep, it does — Bang On is better.

When the developer of this app contacted me to ask if I would beta test it, he told me something along the lines of what you see in the app description:

Ever wanted to say “search for Bob Dylan on Pandora” and have it work? Yeah. Bang On does that.

Huh. I don’t use Pandora, but now I am intrigued.

Bang On uses DuckDuckGo’s ! syntax to search specific sites. Now that can be a pain to type, so Bang On has hot keys that you can tap to add in these syntaxes. This is neat, but not Earth shattering.

Where Bang On shines is in two areas: customization and voice.

Customization

With Bang On you can setup custom ! bang searches that are not a ‘normal’ part of the DuckDuckGo search engine. For example this site isn’t a part of the DuckDuckGo bang search syntax, but in Bang On, it is. So you can type: blue icons !brooksreview into Bang On and it will result in a Brooks Review specific search for blue icons.

That’s pretty cool, but of course I am not naive enough to assume that you want to search this site all that often. I do however, bet there is more than a few sites that you want to search often though, and with Bang On you can create a custom bang to do just that.

Voice

The second cool feature is voice support (iPhone 4S only). When you hit the dictation/microphone button on iOS and say: “search for blue icon on Brooks Review” — well it does just that with a site specific search.

Which is what really makes this app killer for me. Say I am holding my daughter and want to search for something that I am thinking about or heard on the TV (‘wasn’t that actor in X’), well I can do it all one handed, and on the site I want to, with Bang On.

Get It

Bang On is a universal app and is $1.99 in the App Store — if you like searching on iOS, then this is almost required.

Originally posted for members on: May 17, 2012
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