Review

If you’re an avid traveler, and love exploring new places in town or outside it, and have a friend circle who shares your enthusiasm, then Facearound could be a very handy app to have on your phone. Facearound is a new geo-location app for iOS developed by Business Competence, which uses the power of social networking to give you inputs and suggestions from your Facebook friends about new places that you may not be familiar with.

Here’s how it works. You are traveling to a new city on work. You’ve never been there before, and are looking for a good place to let your hair down in the evening followed by a good meal. Problem is, you don’t know anyone in this place, plus you don’t want to incur excessive long-distance call charges if you call your friends back home for suggestions. What do you do? Familiar situation, right? This is where Facearound steps in. Fire up the app on your phone, login using your Facebook acccount, zero in on your current location and voila! – all the places of interest, be it restaurants, bars, shopping spots or salons are shown as green, blue and orange pins on the map.

The Green pins indicate places of interest which include reviews by other Facearound users. This is quite handy, as it gives you a fair idea of what other people who have visited a particular place on the map, have to say about it. The blue pins, and this is interesting, includes reviews from people on your own Facebook friend list who may have visited the place in the past. These reviews are likely to give you a more accurate feel of the place, considering you’re reading feedback from people you actually know well. And finally, the orange pins indicate places which have special deals going on, like a 20% off, or a liquidation sale. The pins carry a numerical notation, like 1, 2, 3 and so on, which indicate the distance from your current location, with 1 being the nearest. This helps you narrow down your options to the places if interest in your immediate vicinity.

Tapping on any of the pins, gives you all the details about that particular business, including reviews by your Facebook friend circle and Facearound users. You can also view the exact address as well as other details such as contact number, in case you want to call ahead and make a reservation. The app can be used to find all sorts of interesting things to do, and is not limited to restaurants and shopping only. You can use the integrated search bar to find all sorts of things, like for example, a tattoo parlor,  and chances are that Facearound will find it on the map, and someone would have reviewed it in the past.

The interface is pretty straight forward, and looks much like Google Maps that you are so familiar with. Everything is presented right there on the screen. The color coding of pins is a nice and smart touch, as it helps you differentiate between which places your friends have reviewed, and which places are running special offers. You can browse through reviews before selecting which place you want to visit, as well as submit a review of your own.

You can also compare ratings and reviews easily through the List Menu option. The interface is highly intuitive an easy to navigate so that you can check all the various features and help others too. You no longer need to hunt around on Google for reviews of a particular place that you are planning to visit; it’s all there in Facearound, and that too coming from your own friends.

Facearound is available as a free download from the App Store, and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 4.3 or later.

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