Apr 29 AT 5:38 PM Guest Blogger 10 Comments

Yelp: Businesses, restaurants, reviews.


As a college student, I frequently find myself scrambling for the nearest food option, bank, or gas station. When the frenzy that is my life slows down and I have a spare moment, I enjoy exploring the city and finding new restaurants.

Yelp, an application based on the popular website, allows me to accomplish these goals with its easy to navigate menus and great search functionality. I have the option of choosing to browse through a variety of categories (ex: Restaurants, Coffee, Banks, Gas, etc), to search for a specific type of item (ex: tacos, Mexican food, etc), or simply to search for a certain restaurant (ex: McDonald’s … although I wouldn’t recommend it). Yelp offers the ability to search locations close to you using the phone’s GPS, or to input an address or city, in case you want to search for places elsewhere. Furthermore, once in the list of items, Yelp allows you to filter by price, or if it’s late at night, to display only those locations that are currently open.

But the best part is Yelp’s extensive library of reviews. Nearly every restaurant I browse through has tons of reviews as well as user-submitted pictures, allowing me to discover new food that I know I will like. Once I have found what I am looking for, Yelp smoothly integrates with Google Maps and Navigation with a “Directions to Here” option below the address. If you’re not running Android 2.0+ yet, it gives you the option to view the directions through the browser. The hours and phone number (you can call right from the app!) of the business are also listed, along with the website and much more. Even if you’re not interested in finding new restaurants, Yelp is a great tool for finding those you already frequent when you are in an unfamiliar area, or for finding bars, banks, and gas stations. Yelp also offers many exclusive sales and specials through the application (for example, one of my favorite local restaurants offers a discount if I simply mention the word “Yelp”).

Finally, Yelp offers the ability to login to your already existing Yelp account (or create one) in order to save history, submit reviews, and add photos straight from the app. You can also add bookmarks for quick access to your favorite locations.


  • Simple, easy to navigate menus and search
  • Integration with Google Maps and Navigation
  • Sync with your Yelp Account
  • Ability to submit photos from app


  • There is no way to sort by distance
  • As of now, you can only save a draft of a review from the app, and then must submit it through the website
  • no check-in feature like the iPhone version

Final Verdict

Whether you’re looking to find new food options, or simply looking for the closest Starbucks, Yelp is the app for you. With the ability to both browse and search for nearly any business, find phone numbers, and navigate through Google Maps, Yelp is your one stop app to access your community.

Note: This review was submitted by Michael Ewart as part of our app review contest.

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  • http://Website James Ester

    One thing that’s also missing is the “Monocle” feature that comes with the iPhone version. Overall, its a great app

  • http://Website AnonCow

    Over 80% of businesses listed on Yelp have an average ranking over either four or five stars.

    That makes their recommendation engine basically worthless. Ok, just mostly worthless because it does show that any restaurant with less than four stars probably sucks.

    Google’s efforts in local search has made Yelp obsolete.

  • http://Website ceruleas

    Yelp is one of those applications I’ve ended up using a lot more than I thought I would. I’m in the same boat (college student, new city), and Yelp has been very useful. Take spring break. I was in Philadelphia with some friends, all of us very unfamiliar with the city, and we had some time to kill. It was rainy, we were tired, so we decided to find a coffee shop to hang out in for a while. Rather than having to settle for the closest Starbucks, Yelp helped us find a really cool local place, and gave us walking directions to boot. It’s true that the rating system isn’t always reliable, but the reviews did help us pick a place with actual seating, as opposed to a carry-out only shop.

  • http://Website ken

    Been using yelp for 2 years now.. the only problem I see with it. Is like the strings of this company is being played by a group of bigger companies. I guess the reason why they withdraw with the half a billion offer of google remains a mystery.

  • http://Website Jon

    WHERE is better

  • http://Website mihaelb

    The reviews aren’t truthful on this app. Yelp gets paid by various places that it reviews. Those places get higher scores. Makes it worthless as a reviewer, if you ask me.

  • http://www.joshwoodward.com/ Josh Woodward

    What mihaelb said. These guys confront businesses and offer to make bad reviews “go away” in exchange for dollars. It’s worse than useless for the reader, it’s extortion. Yelp needs to be made dead.

  • http://Website Paul

    @ mihaelb and Josh W

    How can Yelp get paid off when they don’t make the reviews? People do! You have it all wrong about Yelp. Yelp doesn’t go review places. People do. As far as the reviews go all reviews are from people who have joined Yelp and give their opinion about experiences they have had at a business. The ratings are the opinion of the people who have gone to the particular business.

  • http://Website Mike

    mihaelb and Josh

    You too are complete idiots and know nothing about Yelp. You’ve been watching to many Soprano’s reruns. Go on the full Yelp site and educate yourselves!

  • http://Website mihaelb

    Let’s make it simple: have a look at a few of the places that you are well-familiar with in your area, especially some of the busier places, which you know aren’t so good. Do you agree with all the reviews?

    I have looked, and completely disagree. Ok, my opinion. But I also looked at local websites, newspapers and restaurant-reviewing sites that do seem inline with my opinion of those places. So either all Yelp users that have reviewed those places have completely different tastes, or…well…you know…Yelp isn’t honest!
    Note: I did NOT look at places that got one or two reviews on Yelp or the local sites, but many, to average out the unusual opinions