Yelp for Android, and other location-based newcomers

Jul 19, 2010
Tech

Yelp’s local search and reviews service has finally landed in the Android Market, with a few cool features rarely seen in first-release apps.  With location-based tools becoming more practical and popular on smartphones, here are a few other apps that will help you get familiar with your surroundings. Orient yourself Yelp has made its way […]

Yelp’s local search and reviews service has finally landed in the Android Market, with a few cool features rarely seen in first-release apps.  With location-based tools becoming more practical and popular on smartphones, here are a few other apps that will help you get familiar with your surroundings.

Orient yourself

Yelp has made its way to Android, bringing customer reviews to local venues.  Search for nearby businesses and get their contact details with navigation options.  Leave your own reviews and mark your favorites. The monocle tool adds augmented reality layers to your surroundings, giving you this necessary information overlaid through your phone camera.

Google Maps has added an update to support Google Latitude, the tool that brings your friends (Google contacts) into your map. See who’s nearby and send them a message, see reviews of local venues and socially orient yourself whenever you’d like.

Need something to do around town? Pull up Goby in the Android Market. The free app combines a local search with an events search to help you find something to get into.  Goby has more than 300 categories in its database, from galleries to caving.  Get contact details for search results, save your favorites and share them with friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Vlingo’s voice-activated Android app has been updated with a SuperDialer, letting you connect directly to local venues.  For $4.99, you can tell your phone to call a pizza parlor, and Vlingo will search for local pizza places and call them directly.  Easy as (pizza) pie.

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Juanio is a free augmented reality app for Android with a few custom features.  Using image and object recognition, the app lets you add your own views for augmenting your surroundings (via the phone camera). View others’ channels for travel, localized games and anything else you can dream up.

That reminds me…

Go800 is like 411 Information, but it uses text messaging instead.  Use the free service to search for whatever you need, and you can then have alerts sent to your Android phone when you’re near a local venue that addresses that need.  Looking for a kids toy store? Text “children’s toys” to Go800, and set an alert to discover when one is nearby.

Make your smartphone smarter with PhoneWeaver.  The $6.99 utility app lets you create multiple custom profiles, each with their own set of actions.  Configure a profile to adjust screen brightness or turn off Wi-Fi based on location and other parameters, such as time or your battery percentage.

Tweetsii makes your surroundings social, bringing you tweets that have been geo-tagged for your area. See what’s trending nearby, and what others in the vicinity are doing.  An update to the free Android app also lets you check into local venues and geo-tag your tweets, with plans to integrate Foursquare and Gowalla soon.

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