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iPhone applications: roulette for dinner - urbanspoon

application review of urbanspoon

For those of us who have a hard time deciding what to eat or where to dine out, Urbanspoon has made a slot machine/roulette application (complete with 'pull' slot machine sound effects) to help us make a decision on where to eat. The application will determine your location from the GPS feature (which is still a pretty marked and powerful feature to the iPhone 3G that invariably raises privacy issues) and you can select he criteria you want, i.e., neighborhood, cuisine and price. And, for some inexplicable reason, you literally shake the phone to activate the selection feature. The wheels spin and your restaurant is selected (Alternatively, you can push the button too). It's a kind of Magic 8 Ball effect. Strange, but amusing.

Urbanspoon with its gourmet result. Kevin Ho

All sounds good in theory, but in actual application, it's a little, well, beta. "California cuisine" encompasses a sweeping and surprisingly large number of restaurants. Also, the $$$ price guide is a bit off with some joints being way above and some being way below. And, in terms of content, well, given that San Francisco's Mission District is home to many Top 100 Restaurants, Burger King was definitely a surprise result.