Yahoo Sketch-a-Search for iPad is one of those apps you don’t see or hear mentioned much, or at least I haven’t. It’s also a heck of a good app – and one that more people should probably know about.
The app does something that many other iPad apps can help you with, but it does it in a unique, fun, and effective way. Here’s the App Store elevator pitch for it:
The perfect restaurant is a sketch away with the easiest way to find dining options on your iPad. With Yahoo! Sketch-a-Search, just use one finger to draw your search, and you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the results; conveniently located, based on where you want to go. Search by cuisine, ambience, or ratings; plus get the details, like reviews, price range, and driving directions, with one tap. Be inspired by the Discover feature, offering listings of unique searches–already packaged. Try Foodie Favorites in San Francisco, a Harvard Square Bar Crawl through Cambridge, or Top Bagels in New York.
— The UI for this app is simple and brilliant. Just tap the big purple button at the center top of the screen, and then use a finger to draw a circle on the map. That’s it. The app will then show you all the restaurants and coffee shops in the area you’ve drawn.
— The results are fast, and you get a nice little mini-review listing in the right-hand pane (if you’re in landscape mode) or at the bottom of the screen (in portrait mode).
— You can filter results by style of restaurant / cuisine and by star ratings from Yahoo reviews.
— Everything in the app is one tap away, so it’s quick and a pleasure to use.
— There’s also a handy Top Picks section, with short lists of some highly rated choices near where you are in a number of categories.
There are no real issues that I’ve come across in using this app. My only real wish list item is that they expand the types of places it can find in future. I’d like to see it do general points of interest as many other map apps do.
This is a great app. Not hugely versatile for the moment, but excellent at what it does. Sure there are a number of good apps to help you find places – but none that I’ve found that’s as quick and fun to use as this one. It’s become a real favorite of mine, and everyone I’ve shown it to is downloading it before I can even finish a demo.
Oh, and it’s a free app too.
Here’s your Yahoo Sketch-a-Search for iPad App Store link.