Yell Labs is the latest in a recent surge in augmented reality apps. Coming from Yell, it should come as little surprise that the app is concerned with finding out information about local businesses and services, but unlike other phone directory tools, this works by determining your current location and overlaying information about the locality.
This makes use of the iPhone 3GS' compass, so the app is not compatible with other versions of the iPhone. Simply point the camera around the street you are standing it and businesses' Yell listing will be overlaid on screen - complete with button to call the business or visit their web site. Particular types of business can be tracked down by using the category search option, and the radar at the top of the screen shows you the direction in which you need to head if you want to visit a particular business.
There is nice support for finger gestures with a quick swipe to left displaying a number of popular searches for you to choose from, and a swipe to the right can be used to adjust the range of the search.
The app is of questionable use when you are in your home town, but when you are out and about, it can prove valuable if you spot a shop that happens to be shut and you want to phone the next day, or if you spot a takeaway during the day and want to find out the phone number for use later that night. The augmented reality aspect of the app is a little on the gimmicky side, but Yell Labs is useful nonetheless.
Yell Labs is great for finding out what's around you, but other telephone listing apps are equally useful.