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Smartphone Apps I Can't Live Without: Yelp

Talk about a technology dependency – there isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t use my Yelp app on my Droid or the Yelp.com site to help me navigate my life.  I’ve been an avid Yelp user for about 2 years and recently created my own profile on the site to contribute my reviews to the community.  If you’re  not using Yelp (and I have no clue how you’ve made it this far!) then you need to download the app today.  

Yelp connects people with local businesses by allowing users to share reviews of personal experiences with the businesses for others to see.  Review sites are a dime a dozen these days, but Yelp never fails me.  The authenticity of the reviews makes this community more reliable, imo, than some other review sites.  What’s more, you can connect with your friends on Yelp so that the reviews that you’re reading aren’t just from strangers, but from trusted sources.

My 2 Favorite Uses for Yelp:

1.  Restaurant Scouting in New Cities.  I’m a foodie. When I’m traveling to new cities, my first priority is to find out where the best dining experiences are in the place that I’m visiting.  My first stop is always Yelp – who better to tell you where to eat than those that dine in the city all the time?  This strategy has allowed me to hit foodie paydirt in every single city I’ve visited in the past couple of years: Los Angeles, Scottsdale, Asheville, Savannah, New York – you name it, we scored big time in the food department, thanks to the trusty reviews on Yelp.

2. Figuring Out Nearby Places to Go.  Take today for example, my sister and I had mani-pedis on our minds and were trying to find a nice nail salon to patronize.  I immediately pulled out my phone and plugged in “Nail Salons” into my Yelp app – right away, I was presented with a list of nail salons near to our location.  I do this all the time.  For movies, banks, bakeries, toy stores – it’s all there, right at my fingertips.  Yelp uses the GPS in your smartphone to pull up places in the vicinity of your location, giving you exact mileage of how far away the place is from where you are.

My strategy is to look for the local business that has been given the highest rating (i.e. number of stars) by the most number of reviewers.  It’s obviously not foolproof, but it works for me.  Another great feature is that you can call or map or find out hours of operations for the business that you want to visit right there from the app.

It’s gotten to be so that I don’t even necessarily have a specific destination in mind when I hop in the car (or on the plane) knowing that I have my trust app to rely on.

Oh! And it’s FREE.

Do you have any favorite review apps that you can’t go a day without?

 


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