Developer: Banjo
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 2.0.3
Device Reviewed On: iPad

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Banjo is a social discovery app, allowing the user to search for a specific location in the world and see all the updates people have posted from various social network sites. It’s incredibly well done, with the potential to be very useful.

The story of how Banjo came about is an interesting one. Founder Damien Patton was at an airport waiting on a flight. A friend he hadn’t seen in years was waiting for a different flight close by. Due to the fact they were using different social networking sites, they totally missed each other. Banjo was born.

The app allows the user to search for a location anywhere in the world, via Google maps, and it then shows what people are saying and doing at that precise moment by pulling data from social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, Foursquare, and Instagram (the user can choose what sites of theirs will be shown).

Right now, thanks to Banjo, I know that the vast majority of users in my home town (several hundred miles from my current location) think the weather is far too cold. Slightly banal, perhaps, but think of the possibilities, such as getting first-hand opinions from an important event, and as it’s all geo-tagged the user knows the person is actually there. The user can even search for a topic to see if anyone else nearby is talking about the same thing.

There’s also an interesting friend element in Banjo. The user can invite friends to use Banjo, and if they do an alert will be sent out whenever said friends get within a set distance. The idea is that the user will spot this alert, see their friends are close and connect with them. Of course, this alert can be disabled at any time, or the distance adjusted.

The user interface is extremely smooth. The icons from people close by are well sized, and they group together when there are several in a small area, expanding again when the user zooms in to check them out. A quick tap on a person’s icon quickly opens out onto their Twitter updates, or Instagram posts, and from there the user can even choose to follow them or at least send a message.

I think Banjo is a fantastic app. While some may think it’s a bit liked being stalked, the opportunity to connect with like-minded people, or just to see what’s going on in a certain place is something people shouldn’t miss out on.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Social Networking, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews, Social Networking

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