Find and Rate Restaurants with the Urbanspoon iPad App

The basic premise of the Urbanspoon app for iPad is to let you find restaurants by randomly choosing from various cuisines, price points, and neighborhoods on three slot machine reels. Shake your iPad (or tap the Shake button) and you get a random suggestion for where to eat. If you don't like the result, shake it again. If you want to limit your options, say to a particular neighborhood or a type of food, you can lock one, two, or even all three reels to try to find a particular kind of restaurant.

When you get a restaurant you like, just tap its name and you'll see its address, phone number, kind of restaurant, Urbanspoon user rating, cost rating (connoted by one, two, or three dollar signs), and reviews of the place (where applicable).

Tap various items on the screen to reveal details such as hours, a menu (sometimes), more about the restaurant's user rating (such as how many people voted), the opportunity to submit your own rating, suggestions of other restaurants you might like, an advertisement (it's an ad-supported app), and directions in Google Maps.

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The more popular a restaurant is with Urbanspoon's users, the darker its pin will be. If you tap the Show Popular button in the upper-left corner of the map, all the light blue pins go away. The restaurant that is currently selected is denoted by a bright red pin.

If you really like (or hate) a place, take the time to contribute to the user ratings, and make sure you leave a written review. More importantly, think about the kinds of reviews that you find helpful, and include similar information in yours. ("This place rocks" isn't any more helpful than "This place stinks.")

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