Know What's Happening with Localmind: An iPhone App Review
written by: Janelle Cox•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 8/19/2011
If you ask a question, you will get an answer. That is the premise of this delightful new app that has everybody talking. Do you want to know how long the wait is at your favorite restaurant? Ask a user that has checked-in at that place and you will find out.
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The Localmind iPhone app is a genius idea. To be able to get an answer at the very minute you ask a question is remarkable. There have been so many times that I have wished I knew someone who was in line waiting to buy a concert ticket or at the bar waiting for a table. Now all I have to do is open my Localmind app and ask a person who has checked-in there, how long is the wait? Like I said, genius.
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First Impressions and Features
When launching the app I first noticed that it had a clean and simple interface. I wasn't blown away by the colors that they used, but it was well-organized and I love an app that is in order and easy to use. Next, I noticed it was broken up into four categories: Localmind, My Questions, Local Activity and Profile. In order for me to begin using the app I first had to pick my preferred check-in service. They gave me the options of Foursquare, Facebook, Gowalla, Twitter and GMail. If you choose not to check-in you still have to choose what service you want. I chose Facebook because that is the only one I use.
Now I was ready to ask and answer questions. I first decided to search my favorite chain restaurant Chili's Grill and Bar to see if it was busy. Unfortunately it only showed me someone who checked-in at a Chili's 121.8 miles away about one month ago. Then it gave me a list of all the other people who lived nowhere near me and checked-in weeks ago at a Chili's. I was a little disappointed because I wanted to see how it worked right away, but I understand that it's a new app and that the word needs to be out in order for it to be a successful one.
There are a lot of things I like about this app. First of all it's a great way to find local spots to eat at when you're out-of-town. It's like you have inside knowledge about the hottest bars and nightclubs in town. Second, I like how you remain anonymous. I don't want strangers seeing my picture, or knowing personal information about me. For the users that don't want to remain anonymous there is the option to reveal your identity. Third, it makes you feel good to help someone out. The other day I was sitting at the park with my kids and someone asked me where the best park was in the area. I have been away on business trips with my husband and wish I knew where the best parks were to take my kids. It felt great to help a fellow parent out.
Another unique feature I liked was how they give you "Karma points" for checking in, answering questions and tracking if the questions are helpful or not. They make it like a game, and who doesn't like games? They even have a leaderboard and expert venues category under your profile. In a new update they now offer an amazing feature where you can answer a question with a photo. If someone asks you what the bar looks like, you can answer them with a photo beside a text. This feature gives users an incredible visual of what they want to see. Also included in their update is the ability to add your thoughts to past questions that are from other users. I am not too sure how well this feature is going to work out, but I am interested to see what happens with it in the future.
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My Biggest Gripe
I have one major hangup about this app, It needs more users! I'm sure it just needs a little more time for people to start hearing about it and download it. But, for now there just aren't enough people using it. There is, however, a lot of potential for this app to be as big as Facebook or Twitter. The more people who download Localmind the more information users will be able to have, literally at their fingertips. I think the company that owns this app needs to spread the word, maybe a TV ad or Internet ad? Nonetheless, it needs more users in order to work to its potential.
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Is it Worth the Download?
It is definitely worth the download. Once people start using this app, the potential is unbelievable. Imagine being able to go anywhere and in the world and ask someone any question you may need to know. The new feature to answer user's questions with a photo is an amazing idea. A picture is worth a thousand words. It's fun, incredibly helpful and super easy to use. So give it a try, and let me know what you think in the comment section.