Entertainment Tonight Week #1 Urbanspoon
Starting this week, every Wednesday I will be reviewing a new entertainment related app (think movies, food, music; etc). Many BlackBerry users are unaware that our platform has some incredibly solid apps so I feel this weekly column will take a deeper look into some of the most useful BlackBerry apps.
So let's get started! For my first review I will be showing off a personal favorite...
Believe it or not, living in the middle Hudson Valley in upstate NY offers a ridiculous amount of choices of where to eat. From fast food chains to fancy "sit-down" restaurants, picking a place usually takes a long time. There are times that, no lie, my friends and I would sit in the car not moving just waiting for someone to pick a spot. Urbanspoon makes that choice a little easier by combining simplicity and practicality while still incorporating a great user interface.
Upon opening the app we are greated with a slot machine-like interface that divides the decision process into three (3) categories:
- Type of Cuisine
- How Expensive It Is ($ = cheapest to $$$$$ = most expensive)
Underneath each one of the three categories there is a lock to ensure one or multiple choices. For example, let's say you don't wanna leave a specific town then lock it in. Or you don't want a place that's over $$, lock it in. For touch screen devices (Storm, Storm II, and Torch) there is a special "Shake" feature that allows you to, yes, shake the device to get results.
Once you pick a spot, the next screen offers even more options and help. Urbanspoon's contact screen alows the user to:
- Post to Twitter and Facebook directly from the app
- Call the restaurant
- Map the restaurant's location using BlackBerry Maps
- Add the restaurant to your contacts
- Read and view the percentage of people that like it
Urbanspoon when you're away.
Usually most people know where their favorite restaurants are close to home. When you're away though this can be more challenging and this is where Urbanspoon takes the cake. You can use the built in GPS feature to use your current location to find a place to eat if you're not sure of what the local zip code is.
Last year, while on a trip to Milwaukee, WI for a friend's wedding, Urbanspoon was extremely useful. We didn't know where the heck we were at and having an app that pretty much decides where you go eat proves to be super useful. We were able to find an awesome place to eat breakfast a couple of blocks from the hotel one morning. I simply locked the "Breakfast" category and shook the device and voila! We found a place to eat.
Onto the Entertainment Tonight's Grading Chart
- Design/User Interface: 5/5 stars
- Amount of content: 4/5 stars
- Productivity: 5/5 stars
- Ease of use: 5/5 stars
- Overall score: 4.75 stars
All in all, Urbanspoon is a must-have app for every BlackBerry user. Aside from it being free, it makes something small, like picking a restaurant, fun. Combine that with a solid UI, and that makes Urbanspoon a killer app.