Developer: Localmind, Corp.
Price: Free
Version: 2.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

iOS Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

localmind 3Localmind is a social networking and community-assisted recommendation app that helps people find answers to their questions by connecting them with local experts. Instead of wondering if a restaurant has a long line or if a beach has bike rentals, Localmind users can find the answer quickly without worrying.

Localmind requires users to Sign Up to help the app learn about their habits. Users can connect their preferred check-in services: Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter and Gmail.

Users can then jump right in and ask experts questions about their area by tapping on the big orange “Ask Experts” button. A list of categories appears that ranges from Cafés and Dive Bars to Hiking Trails and Restaurants. Tapping a category brings up a list of quick questions or users can simply type one in before hitting send.

Surprisingly there were questions and answers in my city, and 19 experts waiting nearby to answer my questions. After a question is sent, the app gives an expected response time for the question and it also awards users with karma points. These points add a gamification aspect to the app which helps users earn the role of Localmind Expert. Users can also earn points by checking into locations. It takes quite a few points to earn the credibility, but that’s what helps give it a good re-use value.

localmind 6In addition to asking questions, users will also receive questions to answer. These questions can be answered or passed on to the next person. When users aren’t answering or asking questions, they can browse questions and answers by other users to see what everyone else is asking.

The idea behind the app is appealing, but it faces a couple of setbacks. One is that not enough people may be using the app in a certain area, especially those who live in smaller cities. This could mean longer wait times and potentially unanswered questions. The second is that users will have to trust the answers that they receive, which may be difficult when random people are answering. The app does a decent job of giving people an expert title, but does answering a lot of questions and checking into certain locations really make someone an expert? It’s hard to say.

Getting live and specific information about a place is what makes Localmind and other apps similar to it so great. It has potential to go viral if more people start using it. The interface and concept really shine, and I’m interested as to what the future holds for the app. With all that said, it’s worth downloading and keeping on the home screen for those just in case moments when a quick local answer may make things a lot easier.

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

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