Developer: Minube
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 3.7.7
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Minube is a clever idea combining a social network with travel advice but it doesn’t always offer everything that one would expect from such an app, leaving it fighting for relevancy amongst a busy genre.

Primarily a recommendation service, users can dive right into Minube through its easy search engine. It’s just a matter of typing in a location and finding out more, if the user so wishes. For instance, type in New York and a vast array of sights are listed as well as the option to search through a multitude of hotels. Further more, it’s possible to view by category, with content divided up between places to eat, sleep, and things to do.

Delve further into an item and the information grows, too. Besides contact details, a website URL, and map feature, various comments of other people’s experiences are available. This feature is sometimes great, sometimes lacking. For major attractions it’s often quite plentiful, but for smaller places it can be pretty sparse. It’s possible to view such comments in different languages such as French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese with a translation button converting things for English speakers.

minube7minube5What’s somewhat unusual and something that’s baffling me a little is that there don’t appear to be any comments in English. Whether I’m missing something obvious and Minube isn’t as clear here as it should be, or there just aren’t any, I’m really not sure. Whether this means that Minube isn’t very well designed and obscures key features, or is just missing it all together, it’s an irritant for the English speaker, even if the translation feature does help a bit.

Contributing comments is simple enough to do, as well as submitting photos of the location although a lack of captioning feature is a limitation here.

Minube redeems itself with its inspiration tab, giving users recommendations based on how much time they have spare, how far away they want to travel, and what continent appeals. It’s possible to create itineraries to share with others too, as well as download some new lists (occasionally at a price).

Nearly a great app, Minube lacks some finer touches such as a simpler and less confusing interface. At times it can feel quite muddled despite offering some useful content. This will discourage some users from frequently getting involved, which is a shame. With a few more flourishes it could be great. For now, it’s a “maybe” kind of proposition.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews, Travel

Tagged with: , , , , ,