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New features make Yelp 2.0 a must-have

New augmented-reality and check-in features add to an already fantastic Yelp application for Android smartphones.

Yelp 2.0

The latest release of Yelp (2.0) landed in the Android Market late last week and it's a fantastic update. For those few of you who are unfamiliar with the title, Yelp lets users search for places to eat, shop, hang out, work out, and more based on location and reviews from the community. Expecting a simple enhancement to the user interface, I was pleased to see the addition of some great features, including check-ins and augmented reality.

Hitching their cart to the check-in craze, Yelp 2.0 allows user to share their location across Facebook whenever they stop for a bite to eat. According to the Yelp blog, Twitter support is expected in a future update. Once finished, it's a breeze to take a picture to associate with the establishment and leave behind quick tips such as, "Make sure to try the spicy tuna roll!" for the next guy.

The fun new feature in Yelp comes in the augmented-reality Monocle option. Opening this feature activates the camera and brings up a radar display. Using a combination of compass and GPS, one can search the surrounding area for restaurants, bars, or "everything." Results are displayed on the screen over top of the camera view with names, ratings, and approximate distance shown at a glance. Tapping an item pulls up the full Yelp profile compiled by the community at large.

If you're the type of person who likes to happen upon new places and share your experiences, I would give Yelp 2.0 a try. I think you'll be surprised at how much you'll find yourself using it.