Yelp for iPhone contains all the ingredients you'd expect from the well-known site for users to rate local business and restaurant listings--except one. It has a perplexing tendency to space out when loading user reviews. The instability is surely an early bug, but a detraction nonetheless.
Apart from that, Yelp for iPhone features a clear display composed of category listings for nearby restaurants, bars, banks, and so on. Like so many of the other apps that CNET editors have reviewed, Yelp's iPhone offering taps into the phone's GPS receptors to find matching listings in your neighborhood, with further parameters on distance and hours available in the button marked Filter.
Each listing on the results page squeezes in the address, user ratings, distance, and price range. Drilling deeper spreads the information out in a format that lets you map the location, click to call, begin browsing through user reviews, and bookmark the page.
Yelp.com is a data-intensive site bulging with user opinions and social-networking addenda. The iPhone app was clearly never intended as a replacement, but as a companion for the lost or weary to seek out a bike shop or bite to eat. That much is evident by the read-only quality, mobile-specific mapping and call functions, and the de-emphasis on social networking. Still, while the closed, self-centeredness of Yelp for iPhone is somewhat refreshing, certain scheduling capabilities would be welcome--like the ability to invite a friend to lunch.