At a Glance
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Working with YellowPages, Where is a Yelp alternative to finding nearby attractions--though it mostly locates nearby chains. Where's initial attempts to find my location were always slightly off; usually it pinpointed my location as being around the corner but occasionally put me as far as seven blocks away. Even using GPS to get a more exact location didn't make much of an improvement; I usually had to set my location manually.
I did like that Where's location results give the user options of choosing an exact address, an area within the city (for example, Inner Richmond in San Francisco), or simply the city itself. Once Where found my location, it displayed two screens' worth of icons including weather (provided by Accuweather.com), news, reviews, traffic, and more. Where is heavy on brand names; in fact, one of the listed icons is "Brands," which gives users the option to select the chain stores they frequent from a list. This list has about 30 choices: Wal-Mart, Costco, Petco, Ikea, Best Buy, Game Stop, and nearly every fast-food chain. Tapping any of the brand icons on your list will bring up the YellowPages.com listing with store locations, distance, phone numbers, and star ratings.
You also get a feature called "GuessWhere" and two rather simple "games" that are intended to help you pick where you eat, with the results displayed by YellowPages.com. Some of the app's features did impress me, like the Gas Prices icon, which compares gas prices by grade, price, and location. I also liked the Traffic feature, which helps you avoid construction and road closures by listing events that could affect routes. Where even gives you coupons and finds nearby sales with its Offers feature, though some of them are for stores I'd never heard of.
The Where reviews (courtesy of CitySearch) were better than average; they're laid out clearly and give all necessary info up front. While the items aren't linked to a map, some results had a one-click link to a phone number. Another glitch: Search results would tell you if the establishment had a Yelp review, but gave no link to get to the review. And Where has an option to use a voice search, but I would have much preferred the ability to add my own categories and reviews. You can make a note, make it public, or save the entry as a favorite. Where has a few features that distinguish it from other location-based apps, but it underwhelms in some key areas as well.