Yelp is the premier online city guide that helps you find restaurants and other businesses in your area. It not only provides vital information like hours, addresses, and phone numbers, it also offers a treasure trove of user-submitted reviews, ratings, and photos.
Since Yelp taps into your mobile device's GPS powers, it can easily help you find businesses nearby. Alternatively, you can indicate a city of your choice to search elsewhere. You can conduct your search based on keyword, or browse through listings by category. And the Yelp app offers a few filters to further narrow your search, including distance and price.
The app's user interface is decidedly straightforward, with a dashboard displaying a search bar at the top and a few icons below for additional functions like bookmarks, check-ins, and deals. One thing worth mentioning on the dashboard is Yelp's augmented reality feature called Monocle. To use it, just point your camera down a street full of businesses and watch as it overlays ratings and other useful data on your screen. While Monocle certainly comes in handy on bustling city streets, it's important to note that sometimes the overlay can be overwhelming, with more ratings than the screen can comfortably accommodate.
Overall, the Yelp app is incredibly useful and relatively well-designed. Some additions I would like to see in the future include the ability to publish reviews (right now you can only create drafts) and more filter options for search results. For instance, it would be nice to be able to filter neighborhood or number of reviews like you can on the Yelp Web site. But despite these shortcomings, I would still confidently say that Yelp is a must-have app for every mobile user.