Aug 10, 2010

Mobile phones and location services go together extremely well. This would help to explain why there are so many apps in the Android Market that offer features like checkins, point-of-interest search, and much more. Yet another to enter the Android Market is the grand daddy of all location services, Yelp.

Yelp is known for its huge review offerings for locations and is used in almost every location-based app I have seen. It was only a matter of time before the company released their own app for the world to try out. The app combines many of the popular features that have been highlighted in previous apps. It offers the standard location search which will pull up reviews of popular places like restaurants or gas stations. It also brings the ever popular check-in feature to the app so you can always see where you’ve been and where your friends have been.

The customer review site for restaurants, stores and businesses is the same old Yelp you’ve always used and loved—only this mobile version of the service is a lot less clunky than the website. The app’s clean home screen has a search bar and a few well marked icons, so it’s easy to find an excellent hair salon or the best pizza in town. The app makes it super easy to check-in at nearby businesses, bookmark restaurants you’d like to try, or draft reviews. One of Yelp’s best features is an option called Monacle. The app taps into your phone’s camera and GPS functions to display local restaurants, bars or businesses using Augmented Reality to display them. It’s a clever way to encourage exploration and to overcome the ongoing question of “what should I eat?”

Another recent feature that is making its way slowly through mobile devices is augmented reality. Yelp has that to. Altogether, you have one excellent app for finding the businesses you want and it’s all presented in a clean and user-friendly way. It’s available for free and definitely worth the download. Yelp is a must-have app for the Android tablet owner who dines out often.

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Erik Fikkert

With a heart for technology and its synergy with daily life, Erik has been involved in many different areas of media. He has composed music for film, designed branding for local companies and currently enjoys spending his days playing with iPhone apps and keeping up with the latest tech news.

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