Developer: Yelp
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.1.0

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★★

Update: 4/1/14, Version 7.6.1
5 years later and understandably the Yelp app has gone from strength to strength. It’s possible to add reviews of any establishment that one visits, as well as check into businesses to let folks know exactly where you are at any one time. The recommendations are that much tighter, plus there’s the addition of augmented reality allowing one to check out business information placed on top of the world view. It’s the kind of app that improves easily on the website, proving to be a valuable addition to anyone who likes to go out and about. Which is surely everyone, right? – Jennifer Allen

There are four sections of the Yelp app:

Nearby, Recents, Search, and Bookmarks

Nearby: Presents a list of familiar Yelp categories. With the help of location services, the app will display a list of stuff under that particular category that is nearby. There’s also the Hot on Yelp section underneath the categories, this reveals the most bookmarked places around you in the last month.

Recents: Keeps track of the last ten places you’ve viewed on Yelp. Pretty handy if you view something interesting but forget to bookmark it. That’s about all there is to say about that!

Search: Choosing a category in Nearby will jump you over to this section of the app, it reveals your query results. You can select any result and the app shows all the detailed information including average rating, price level, review preview, phone number, address, directions, the ability to add a photo or add to your bookmarks. You can expand any of these. For example, in the screenshots you’ll see the finer details of Rogue Ale, the full reviews, and the map of it’s location. If you want to narrow your search, you can use all of the handy filters that are available on Yelp’s website…so if I don’t want to spend this month’s rent on dinner, I can choose just $$ (dollar signs). Yelp has a built in map, but there’s a button that lets you jump into google maps straight from Yelp. You can touch through the reviews to disclose the full review instead of a preview, but the fun pretty much stops there – you can’t see the other reviews made by that particular Yelper or make any comments. You also can’t write your own reviews from the mobile app (sad face). You can, however, add photos directly from your camera or camera roll to the Yelp gallery, which is pretty cool and makes me feel like I’m able to contribute something on the go.

Bookmarks: This is the newest feature of the Yelp app. If you have an account on Yelp, you can now sign into it and access all of your bookmarks! This is super handy because sometimes I’ll walk by a restaurant or bar that is closed – and instead of relying on my not-exactly-sharp memory I can find it on Yelp and bookmark it to check out later. This is good for keeping track of places you’d like to review as well.

Conclusion: If you live in a city that has seemingly endless places to go, Yelp is very useful in finding what everyone else thinks are the diamonds in the rough. Plenty of times I’ve found myself wondering into a place without even standing room, and I’ve used Yelp to discover something cooler nearby that I could actually walk into! Hopefully the developers of the Yelp app will incorporate the most requested feature I’ve heard from multiple users of Yelp – the ability to write reviews directly from iPhone. Similar to my opinion of the Facebook app for iPhone, I think the Yelp app is much more desirable to use than the actual website – adding the review feature would assuredly cement this.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews, Travel

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