The Best Going-Out apps for iPhone
Its time for a golden oldie, and yes, while this is one of the original apps that started out on a PC, Yelp is still a major contender, just the same way PayPal is still one of the worlds leading payment platforms. So, why did I mention PayPal, well that’s to do with Yelp’s history.
Yelp was founded in 2004 by two PayPal employees, Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons. These young entrepreneurs raised $1 million in funding to enhance their e-mail circle of friends solution, which was an online solution that provided information swapping between friends. It was called Yelp and is still called Yelp 16 years later, but now it has a market value of around $5 billion and is traded on the stock exchange with over 130 million unique visitors every month.
What is Yelp?
From its humble beginnings, Yelp strived to provide a comprehensive referral service for everything going out. Do you want to get a referral to a good restaurant? Perhaps a movie, a shop or even a gallery. Yelp was there to build up customer reviews on every possible going-out activity in the area.
Its foundations grew into a 1 to 5-star rating service, where customers could write about their experience and rate the service or product. It has evolved from a basic restaurant rating place into a fully fledge shopping and service rating place with online reservations, booking tickets and organizing your schedule for entertainment and enjoyment.
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How does Yelp work?
Yelp is localized, so if you live in SF or NY you will get SF and NY related information, there is no point in finding out about a great place if it’s a flight away, unless you plan on flying to that great place. Localized Yelp helps make decisions for you easier.
You download the app, and register, either with your Facebook account or with your e-mail. Once you are logged in you can start to use the system with its filters for every kind of product or service you seek.
You can also upload your own photos, reviews and ratings for every establishment you frequented or came into contact with. If you decide to link your credit card to Yelp, you will get 10% cash back discounts on any number of online reservation options.
Nearby uses your GPS location and helps you find places that are within walking distance unless you set the parameters for nearby to a wider range. Essentially, nearby focuses the search to your location, and helps you explore the possibilities that exist, which you might not know of, even if you do walk around your area a lot.
Yelp nearby offers these categories:
- Hot and New
- Check-In Offers
- Coffee & Tear
- Gas Stations
This amazing array of categories makes searching for a new experience easy, a fingertip away.
Yelp has an advanced search and filter feature and should have after so many years of experience. Essentially you can filter your search location from 0.5km, 2km, 5km, all the way up to 15km. You can set filters to differently sized requests, such as bookings for two or a group, you can also request specific features such as wifi, free parking, a swimming pool and a load more of category-specific filters. Yup, you won’t find many drug sores with an indoor swimming pool.
Yelp comes with an interactive map, so you can view the filtered selections on the map, and decide which business is the one you want to go to based on its exact location. Planning out a route for optimized logistical purposes is always good.
The Yelp +
In the middle of the Yelp screen is its famous plus sign. This is what you tap to reach the interactive pages. These pages allow you to become interactive with the app and you can Check In, Review, or Add a Photo through your Yelp account.
This is the core of yelp, sure, they have millions of businesses in their system, but without the essential review, and ratings, the whole system loses its integrity. So, if you are a Yelp user, be an active one.
Yelp Activity Page
The Yelp activity page is where you filter out all the white noise, and focus your screen on the data that interests you. This can mean anything, and it ranges from reading reviews to updating recipes to filtering out all other reviews but your friends.
There is a more section in the app, and here you can view your bookmarked businesses, manage your reservations, check-ins, messages, and chat.
In the More section of the app, you can see your bookmarked restaurants, manage your reservations, see upcoming and ongoing public events nearby, manage your check-ins, message and chat with other Yelp users, talk and post in your nearby Yelp message boards, adjust and edit your profile, and see which restaurants/businesses you’ve recently viewed.
Here are the More functions:
- Monocle (search for businesses)
- Add a Business
- The Local Yelp
- About Me
- Yelp Elite Squad
The app is 100% free, and it is a mandatory app for anyone with a life.
Resy is a competitor to apps such as Yelp, but only in one category, the restaurant business. As the name suggests, Resy is a restaurant based review app that provides you with an enhanced restaurant guide, review, and search experiences.
Resy started out in NYC and had risen in power ever since it came online. This powerful little tool is designed for the eye, and as such wins over with its easy to comprehend GUI. Resy is more than just a glorified restaurant review app; it’s a comprehensive range of tools aimed at improving both the diners and restaurant experience with the ever-increasing load that the IoT has showered down on all.
Resy also came out with a restaurant app called ResFly which is aimed at helping restaurants handle the excessive use of internet-based orders to manage their slots. A restaurant slot is a name given to a balance of tables and inventory. You might not know this, but restaurants can only cater for a limited number of people per session before their resources run out.
The added pressure from all the online reservation and food ordering apps has led many a restaurant to overstep its capabilities. This is where ResFly comes in. It helps balance out and schedule the orders in a way that restaurants can handle both the incoming diners and the takeaways.
This new upgraded Resy app for diners, it is their loyalty program that provides exclusive booking windows delivering hard to get reservations, early access to various event tickets and also arranging for select few to meet with leading chefs.
Resy was founded in 2014 and has now got around 100,000 restaurants working with its platform. It employees 100 full-time employees and is used in over 160 cities worldwide.
Resy is making its way into more markets, and if you already have a good restaurant app, I always suggest having more than one. In fact, when it comes to going out apps, I suggest a minimum of four. Two as a minimum for restaurants is a must; you can compare reviews and use either to help with reservations.
Many a time you find one app is sold out, but another still has tickets, the same goes for discounts and the same for finding more businesses online. Not one app has it all. So I suggest you download Resy too and increase your reach and dining experience with this amazing app.
Fandango is an entertainment reservation and news app. This is considered by many to be the leading platform for all new releases. If you want to reach a show and be one of the first, you will most probably find tickets available via Fandango.
Why is FandangoNow so great? Simply put, you get a list of all current releases that are playing in theaters. You choose any movie you want, pay the minimum fee required, and you can download the movie of your choice legally, even while it is still playing in a theater near you.
Now let’s add the issue of streaming. FandangoNow has a vast library of TV shows and movies that can be purchased and streamed effortlessly to your device. You can also purchase a whole season in one go, even as they are being aired.
The biggest reason why Fandango is on this list is budget related. There is no monthly fee.
You only pay for what you want to watch. This is a 100% free platform that only requires you to pay for titles when you decide to download them. Now, remember, you are buying and downloading a copy to your device, this means that for the price you pay, under $20 in any case, and you can watch the movie as many times as you like, because, it’s yours.
Navigating around this app is easy, no matter which screen you are on, click the FandangoNOW icon at the top and you end up on the home screen. You navigate through TV Shows or the Movies tab, and you can use the drop-down menu for narrowing your searches. You also have a user library, and you can see all the movies you have either rented or bought.
Yup, even FandangoNOW has a downside, and that’s its price too. For a one or two time download its great, but if you regularly watch over the internet, this will prove to be too expensive. In the case of viewing many TV series and movies, a monthly subscription would be much more cost effective.
FangandoNOW works well on most desktops, iOS, Android, Roku, Chromecast, Xbox One, Samsung smart TVs among just a few of the possibilities.
There are over 40,000 movies and TV shows in the library, and this is constantly growing.
They have a VIP reward system that awards points, and when you accumulate enough points you earn a discount on future purchases, and these can be impressive, 10%, 15% and even 20%.
You might have Netflix or iTunes, but you don’t have FandangoNow. This is the same as saying you have Fish and Chicken, but what about the Beef? As I always say, one app is never enough. FandangoNIOW is for buying movies to what Netflix is for monthly subscriptions.
We covered restaurants, downloaded movies, now its time to buy a ticket to your favorite game, concert or theater performance. This is Ticketmaster, your entrance into the world of live entertainment and action.
What is great about Ticketmaster is that it is not another third-party ticket seller. It is a conduit between the actual supplier and the client. No middle fiddle, you buy tickets from the source.
Essentially, Ticketmaster has access to 99% of all ticketed events. If you cannot find your event here, then either its too fringe, or it ain’t worth buying. Ticketmaster has created a platform which gives it first dibs in ticketing online. This means that the earlier you decide to buy a performance the better chance you are of finding it on Ticketmaster and getting a great seating position too.
Ticketmaster does sell out fast, so you have to be quick. This is based on it being the first to provide online tickets to any performance, as such, many clients troll its pages daily, and buy up tickets, gaining that best-seated performance. There is no flat fee; each fee is individual per performance.
Once you have chosen the performance, you pick your seat location and you can either have the tickets e-mailed to you, or you can collect them at the venues ticket office. Personally, I find it best to print out the tickets and not have wait in line at the venue, but, have n fear, you won’t need to. Ticketmaster solved this problem too; it allows you to pick up your tickets from participating stores too.
The mobile app allows you to transfer tickets to other people and will give you access to events that are going live on the very same day. If you buy your ticket early enough, you can enjoy their three-day return feature. This means you can get a full refund three days after the initial purchase, but only of the show is over a week away.
Ticketmaster is the best-priced ticketing option on the internet, but it is not the best one since it does sell out fast. Remember, some third-party apps buy chunks of tickets from the show, so when you go to Ticketmaster, you buy what’s left. I suggest that you compare seating placements between different apps. You will be surprised. On the upside, some other apps will sell out before Ticketmaster. So, one more time, download this app as an additional option for any other ticketing apps you have, you will be pleasantly surprised.