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Qype, which claims to be the UK's largest local search and recommendation website, has just released an updated version of its mobile app, Radar, for iPhone users.

Like rival Yelp, Qype Radar provides local listings and reviews for mobile users, very useful when you're out and looking for somewhere local to eat, or for other local services.

According to Qype, the iPhone app has been downloaded 150,000 times, and receives about 500,000 visits per week. I compared the two apps a few months ago, and though Yelp just about had the edge, Qype had some useful features. I've been looking at the new version...

Qype Radar

Improvements to the Qype iPhone app include the facility to upload pictures and write reviews on the move, something which previously you could only do on the Qype website.

Perhaps this instant feedback may make for more angry reviews as customers pick up their iPhone after waiting too long for the main course to arrive, but it should makes it easier to gather more reviews from people, which makes the app more helpful in general.

When Yelp updated its app recently, it stopped short of this, and just allows users to write draft reviews which they can then publish on the main website.

Qype - write a review

For usability, Yelp's app just about beats Qype. On Yelp, filtering options such as proximity and price range helps you narrow your search for local businesses. The fact that such options are unavailable on Qype means you have more results to scroll through.

Also, Qype doesn't make enough use of Google Maps. It will plot the location of a business on the map, but that's it:

Qype map

Yelp will plot a set of results on a map, allowing you to see which is the easiest to get to, and will also provide directions straight from a restaurant's listing. 

For these reasons, Yelp still has the edge, though Qype does have other advantages. While Yelp has very few reviews and listings for businesses outside of London, Qype has a much broader coverage so, if you want a cafe in Newcastle for instance, Qype will have both listings and reviews, while you are lucky to find any on Yelp.

Graham Charlton

Published 28 May, 2009 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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