Though Yelp brings its sleek red design to its Android app, it leaves out some functionality.
After the initial Yelp log-in screen, users see a pop-up telling them that they can take photos, draft reviews, and bookmark favorite businesses. The Yelp logo and search bar compete for space at the top of the home screen, followed by a 'Browse by...' menu listing categories such as Restaurants, Bars, Coffee/Tea, Drugstores, Banks, 'Hot on Yelp,' 'Sales and Special Offers,' and More Categories. More Categories isn't fooling around, either: It leads to 22 total filters covering 'Beauty and Spa,' Nightlife, Pets, Automotive, and other needs, as well as a Show All Businesses option. 'Sales and Special Offers' pulled up a plethora of food and drink specials in my neighborhood, neatly organizing each result with a thumbnail photo on the left and including relevant information such as the address, the distance, prices, reviews, and a brief description of the special.
You can see the results organized on a map, along with the familiar red-numbered Yelp triangles and a tiny pop-up box that overlays the map with review info on each location. You tap to filter and organize results by who is currently open or by price.
'Hot on Yelp' brings up nearby restaurants, venues, events, and local points of interest. The results display well for mobile use, with a bottom menu allowing users to add a bookmark, draft a review, or add a photo; under the More option, you can access the Map, Call, or Share functions. Entries are arranged cleanly, and they use the mobile space in an intuitive way to convey information quickly. At the bottom of each entry are additional photos and more information about each location or business, with links.
The app also automatically syncs with your Yelp account, and you can share items via SMS, e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter. Two things you can't do: "check in" at a location, or write a full review. You can save a draft of a review and publish it once you log in from a home computer. It's a bit of a disappointment--but not a deal breaker. In the end, the Yelp app for Android is a rock-solid offering that works fluidly and maintains the feel of the Web version.
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