Saturday, March 6, 2010

Yelp for BlackBerry

I'm a big fan of Yelp! for finding new restaurants and other businesses. You can find user reviews on just about any business anywhere - both in quick and easy 1 to 5 star reference and in actual written remarks and pictures uploaded by previous customers.

Today, I was over in Silver Spring, MD for a seminar and wanted to find a place for lunch. I used my BlackBerry to go to the Yelp! website to search for what was in the area. The first thing I noticed was a link at the top of the page to download the Yelp! app for BlackBerry.

I downloaded it, and it's AWESOME!

Photo from Yelp website

The Yelp! app for BlackBerry by default searches for businesses near your current location (but you can also tell it to search somewhere else). It started out with nice big easy-to-push buttons to choose restaurants, bars, coffee & tea, drugstores, gas & services, grocery stores, banks or other. I pushed the button for restaurants, then I clicked the button for nearby my current location.

It nearly instantaneously returned a list of restaurants near me with star icons showing the average user review and how many reviews it was based on - a 4 star rating from 300 people is way better than a single 5-star review. It also provides dollar sign icons for the price range and a category for the type of food (American, Mexican, Chinese, etc).

The first few entries were $$$ out of our desired lunch price range. I pushed my menu button then clicked on "filter." I clicked on the $ icon and clicked search, and it filtered the search to look for the closest restaurants that were in that price range. You can also click on "map results" and it will show you where the businesses are in relation to where you are.

My only complaint about the app is that it never comes back with the same list of restaurants twice. I don't know how the algorhythm works, but if you pass a restaurant somewhere in the list and keep browsing and then try to go back to it, it's not going to be at the same spot in the initial list that the Yelp! app generated. It's probably still going to be in your list somewhere, but you'll have to scroll the list of results to find it again.

That's a minor thing though, and overall, this app is AWESOME. Wish I knew about it sooner - it was released way back in August!

1 comment:

Eoin said...

You should get Where also its great.