Yelp for iOS review
When Apple releases the iOS 6 update in September, it will bring with it a whole new Maps app with Yelp reviews integrated right into the system. But you can read and write these reviews right now, with the Yelp app.
Like other listing services (such as Alfred and View City Guides) Yelp searches for local business listings (either by using Location Services or by a manual search).
The types of listings include Restaurants, Bars, Coffee & Tea, Petrol & Service Stations, and Pharmacies & Chemists. As well as businesses it carries listings for museums and attractions. There’s a pretty comprehensive amount of information contained in the service.
All the listings are added, and then rated, by users themselves so it’s a crowd-sourced solution. As such it tends to have a lot of information on the bigger enterprises, and less on the smaller bars and shops you might have heard of. Although we are impressed by the amount of information available to our local area in London, and a search by other cities throughout the UK shows a detailed amount of local information available throughout the UK.
The information available (especially on restaurants and bars) is pretty detailed. As well as reviews, you get pricing, nearest transport options, photographs, opening hours, and even information on ambience, noise level and expected attire.
Similar to the popular social networking site FourSquare you can Check In to Yelp establishments, and share where you are on Facebook and Twitter.
The great thing about using Yelp on the iPhone is that you can add photographs to businesses, as well as tips, and reviews straight from your phone. We’re pretty sure that Yelp is going to fly when the service is baked right into the Maps app.
There is a built in Map that enables you to locate the listed businesses, but what you can’t do (unfortunately) is just pan and zoom around to look for listings. Although you can pan to an area and then search for listings using the near Current Map Area option. You can also filter and sort the listings by price and rating, so it’s a good way to get a feel for different businesses in a city.
Another nice feature is the Photos tab, that enables you to browse listings via a gallery of photographs, each from a different local establishment, that you can swipe between.
If you’re a business itself, especially a bar or restaurant, the it’d be a good idea to make sure you have a Yelp account and that all the details are up to date (and include good photographs). And perhaps start asking your customers to write you reviews – because when iOS 6 hits that Yelp information is going to make a big difference to businesses.
Yelp is certainly worth downloading. It’s a free app that works well and will be integrated with iOS 6, in much the same way we imagine that the Twitter app is integrated with iOS 5. It’s a good way to find local listings, and a good tool for business owners.