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US based local listings and reviews website Yelp launched in the UK at the beginning of the year, and had already launched an iPhone app to accompany the main website.

I was impressed with the iPhone app when I compared it with Qype Radar a few months ago, and it has just updated with some more useful features, as well as content tailored to UK users.

New features include a feed showing activity near to the user's location; reviews, photos, tips etc that people have recently added about local businesses, or else you can view your Yelp friends' feeds.

One improvement for UK users is that the language used to describe places has been changed so that, rather than listing drugstores and gas stations, Yelp now lists shops and petrol stations:

Yelp nearby businesses

Also, users can now sign into their Yelp accounts, access bookmarks, add photos to reviews while they are on the move, as well as writing 'quick tips' which then appear in business listings. For example, you may want to recommend a particular dish, or perhaps advise people to turn up early to be guaranteed a table etc.

Yelp add photos

You can also write drafts of reviews which you can later finish and publish on the main Yelp website, though it would be better if you could just post the review from the iPhone.

Yelp draft a review

The new sign up process is a bit of a chore though; it's much easier if you have already signed up on Yelp.com, and the fact that you have to upload a photo to create a profile seems unnecessary. 

Aside from this though, it's an excellent iPhone app, and the best I have seen that offers local listings and reviews. It has lots of content for the London area, though if you venture further north, you will get listings for cities such as Newcastle, but fewer reviews.

Other similar iPhone apps are Qype Radar, which is also a good app, but doesn't quite match Yelp's range of functions, while lastminute.com released a 'fonefood' app which doesn't really compare to either.

Graham Charlton

Published 17 April, 2009 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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