WHERE update gets personal, but results still need work

Mar 10, 2011
Tech

The what-to-do, where-to-do-it app WHERE, for iPhone and iPod Touch, has released a major update to its service, adding features that make for personalized search results. WHERE is all about personalized user results now, displaying a “Best Bets” section based on your user history. I like that the app now lets you create lists of […]

The what-to-do, where-to-do-it app WHERE, for iPhone and iPod Touch, has released a major update to its service, adding features that make for personalized search results.

WHERE is all about personalized user results now, displaying a “Best Bets” section based on your user history. I like that the app now lets you create lists of favorite places or a separate list of places you’d like to go — easily added by a dedicated button displayed on a listings page. WHERE has also added a “Bump” feature. Bump your phone with a friend’s who also uses WHERE, and the app will suggest “Perfect Places” you both will like, based on your user histories.

The home page offers standard icons, like eat, drink and play, and the “Guides” section pulls in “insider” tips from Citysearch’s content. Below these stationary icons, you can customize a shortcuts page to automatically locate all nearby Taco Bells or Dunkin Donuts, for instance, with one tap.

WHERE still includes a gas station search that displays current pricing, along with address and direction information, but the 3D map — one of the app’s most interesting original features — was nowhere to be found.

It’s been about 10 months since my first review of WHERE, in which I noted that its search results could use a good update. I was disappointed to see that WHERE’s location database has seemingly gotten worse in the months since. I did a quick search for nearby restaurants, and within the first 13 listings, WHERE gave me nine results that are no longer in existence.

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I liked WHERE when I first saw it last May, and thought its search issues were understandable at the time (many other location apps were displaying similar problems), but in the almost one year since, given that this is a navigation app, WHERE’s inability to correct its inaccuracies is unacceptable.

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