Eat on the cheap with BiteHunter iPhone app’s deal finder

Jun 20, 2011
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New in a slew of deal aggregators is BiteHunter, which puts its focus on daily deals, specials and discount of the culinary persuasion. The website has been beta testing in select cities for some time, but the app version just rolled out for iPhone and iPod Touch, and its coverage is national. BiteHunter includes specials […]

New in a slew of deal aggregators is BiteHunter, which puts its focus on daily deals, specials and discount of the culinary persuasion. The website has been beta testing in select cities for some time, but the app version just rolled out for iPhone and iPod Touch, and its coverage is national.

BiteHunter includes specials from deal giants such as Groupon and Living Social (I should note that the app does not currently aggregate Groupon’s new Now! deals, which is too bad) alongside lesser-known sites such as kgb deals and up-and-comer ScoutMob, among many, many others. What I like about the app is that it doesn’t restrict its content to pre-purchase daily deals. No, the app also sources sites such as menupages.com and Open Table for regular daily specials, prix fixes or happy hours. My favorite feature of BiteHunter is the fact that it tracks restaurant newsletters and Twitter feeds (yes, tweets!). This combined with its real-time updating means that you’ll know instantly if that restaurant on the corner is offering half-price drinks tonight only.

Although I appreciate the content BiteHunter is offering, I didn’t fall in love with its app interface. Users can see all deals near their current location or opt to restrict results to daily deal sites that usually require pre-purchase, or stick with the “Discount” and “Happy Hour” tabs that only require you to show up and order. Via the search bar you can check the database for a specific restaurant or cuisine (though these results were muddled), and narrow your price range through the filter button. Filtering is light when compared with the website, and I’m not sure why these features were omitted — the ability to search for specific deal types (brunch, gift card, delivery), narrow your deal source, or choose specific cuisines seems ideally suited to this app. I hope to see them added in the future.

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Speaking of things to add, when viewing deals in the map you’ll only see things near your current location. If you want to see deals out of view, you’ll need to reset your location. A map that auto refreshes would be a big plus.

When viewing additional deal information, the app loads in an in-line browser, and the speed is extremely slow. Luckily, you should only need to access these pages for deals that require purchase. Happy hours and the like will display on the information page, which also includes reviews and any other deals available for your selection.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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