Almost has it all

Yelp for iPhone contains most of the ingredients you'd expect from the well-known site on which people rate local business and get restaurant listings. Most, but not all.

Yelp for iPhone contains all the ingredients you'd expect from the well-known business-rating and reviews site, except for one small thing: the capability to write a rated review from the iPhone or iPod Touch. True, two features do provide a workaround: one lets you write short, 140-character tips and observations; the other lets you begin a rated review and save it to finish and post from a computer.

Apart from that, the iPhone app cleanly features user-reviewed listings for restaurants, bars, banks, and so on, utilizing the iPhone's GPS know-how to target your current neighborhood. Each listing squeezes in the address, user ratings, distance, and price range. Mapping capabilities show you how to get there, and a call button can help you make the reservation. Feeds featuring your activities, your friends' ratings and tips, and all rating and tips for businesses nearby bring the app some of the same social-networking qualities as its beehive online. In addition to those, certain scheduling capabilities would be welcome, like sending a listing as an invitation for lunch.

Yelp for iPhone strikes a nice balance between community features--like scrolling through photos and complimenting a reviewer's prose--with mobile musts. We're especially thinking of the Special Offers feature that seeks out deals nearby, the newly movable Google maps (they were static prior to this), and an integrated browser that no longer kicks you out of the app and over to Safari. With these, Yelp is turning into a robust app for business-seekers who are on the go.

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