Urbanspoon for iPhone
Find a restaurant, find it fast.
- Uses accelerometer and GPS, extensive list of restaurants
- Not enough countries supported, some elements poorly designed
Urbanspoon is an excellent application for finding a bite to eat at short notice, with some iPhone-specific novelties that contribute to its usefulness. It could use some improvement, but overall it’s a great addition to any night out.
Restaurant review aggregators are all good and well, but if you're already out of the house and don't want to spend time looking for a restaurant then Urbanspoon for the iPhone is the way to go. With an extensive database of restaurants and reviews, as well as some other novel features, Urbanspoon is a great way to find a nearby restaurant or to randomly expand your culinary experiences.
Finding a restaurant through Urbanspoon can be done using one of two methods: Shake or Near Me. Shake, the primary interface of Urbanspoon, is simple and easy to use. Restaurants are categorised into three areas: location or suburb, cuisine and expense. Users can lock each of these categories to a specific choice, or leave them open to change. Shaking the phone (using the iPhone's integrated accelerometer) or simply pressing the Shake button brings up a suggestion based either on the user's criteria or, if none are selected, a completely random suggestion. The process is fast and simple, and it quickly gives the user the information they need to know.
Near Me uses the iPhone 3G's integrated GPS receiver to determine the user's current location and recommends restaurants within a 1-2 kilometre radius; it's a particularly useful function for a night out on the town. The interface isn't as polished or attractive as the Shake menu and could do with a redesign, but it is functional nevertheless.
Apart from its ability to quickly find new restaurants, Urbanspoon also offers reviews from users and restaurant critics. In Sydney, Urbanspoon offers reviews from the Sydney Morning Herald, Your Restaurants and City Search, as well as reviews submitted to Urbanspoon's Web site by its community of users. An aggregated rating is also provided for each restaurant, though this is based on user votes rather than critics' reviews.
Urbanspoon's browse and search functions seem little more than tacked-on elements of the service's Web site. While search results are categorised in a similar fashion to the Shake mode, individual restaurant pages are not optimised for the iPhone. These functions don't match the brilliant Shake and Near Me functions and seem less polished.
Urbanspoon offers an extensive list of restaurants for those cities it does support but, unless you're travelling to London, the US or Canada, don't expect the iPhone app to be your buddy overseas. With support limited to major cities in the US, Canada and England and only Melbourne and Sydney supported in Australia, Urbanspoon is still somewhat limited in scope.
Perhaps our biggest complaint about Urbanspoon is the inconsistency in layout and functionality. We have already mentioned the differing levels of polish and design between the Shake and Near Me functions, but the inconsistencies extend to individual restaurant pages. Opening a restaurant found through the Shake function shows a tailored snippet of vital information laid out in a fashion that suits the iPhone. Doing the same from any other function in the application simply brings up a mobile-enhanced version of Urbanspoon's Web site instead. Clicking on a restaurant address in Shake mode automatically opens the Maps app; doing this in any other application simply brings up a non-adjustable map of the location within the same window.
We like Urbanspoon and it will no doubt become an indispensable tool for culinary experts and high-brow socialites, but a little more thought and some better design could definitely improve this application.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- 2 Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 3 LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- 4 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Drupal fixes critical access bypass vulnerability
- Hackers use old Stuxnet-related bug to carry out attacks
- Microsoft will cut services to standalone Office users so they’ll subscribe to Office 365
- Microsoft commits to a permament schedule for new Windows 10, Office updates
- OK Google, let's get personal
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSenior IT Domain SpecialistVIC
- FTSenior Project Manager - Foreign CurrencyVIC
- FTSenior Project Coordinator-Datacentre relocation backgroundNSW
- FTSales/Account Manager - Education SectorNSW
- FTProject Manager - Multiple rolesQLD
- CC.Net DeveloperQLD
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)QLD
- TPService Desk OperatorQLD
- TPChange ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Policy OfficerNSW
- FTFull Stack DeveloperNSW
- CCIXD/Interaction DesignerVIC
- FTBusiness Analyst- Process (Banking or Insurance or Gov backg)NSW
- TPProject Manager | HealthQLD
- CCSenior Process Specialist - TelcoVIC
- FTLevel 2 Software & Hardware Support position.VIC
- FTBusiness AnalystSA
- FTHealthcare Application Integration SupportQLD
- FTSenior Agile Test AnalystNSW
- TPWeb DeveloperNSW
- FTSalesforce AnalystQLD
- FTUI/UX DesignerSA
- CCTechnical Consutlant - Entry Level - HPSMVIC
- FTPMO CoordinatorACT
- FTStorage Engineer l HDSNSW