Apr 29 AT 5:38 PM Guest Blogger 10 Comments

Yelp: Businesses, restaurants, reviews.

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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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • 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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