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iPhone App Review: Phone2Anything

iPhone App Review: Phone2Anything

November 25th, 2010 by

Having a mobile phone with you when traveling now offers more than just the ability to communicate on the go: you can use it as a mobile search tool for finding any service you might need when in an unfamiliar city.

Phone2Anything is a free app that uses your current location to find a wide array of businesses, services, and attractions. Once you find a suitable local business you can map its location relative to yours, place a call, post it in a Tweet or Facebook status update, or do any of several other actions.

How It Works

Using the app is simple: you can touch the “Nearby” tab and select from one of dozens of categories such as “Cafes” or “ATMs”, and the app will show you all of the locations starting with the closest.

You can also use the “Search” tab to do a free-typed search for anything near you, or near any of your pre-defined locations. You can also do a basic web search from within the app.

Anything in the app can be added to a favorites list, be posted on social networking sites, be emailed or texted to friends, added to your contacts list; and if you create an account within the app you can add comments to businesses to assist other travelers.

Pros

The app is fast and responsive, and most basic business services can be found within just a few taps. I was recently on a two-week drive across the country, and being able to find an ATM, cafe, or gas station without opening up the maps app and misspelling my search three times would have been welcome.

Being able to manually define multiple locations is a nice feature for planning future stops or meeting places. Once again, on my recent trip across country we sometimes had to hit three cities in one day. This app would have made trip planning easier.

Cons

The app has a couple of strange bugs:

  • On my iPhone 4, sharing via text never seemed to work. Email is generally fine, but sharing a location via SMS would be a great feature to have working.
  • The category list of nearby business duplicates itself. If you scroll through the list you find “Cafes” twice, “Restaurants” twice, etc. Not a deal breaker, it just makes the list scroll forever and gives the app an amateurish feel.
  • The app crashed a couple times when performing some actions, but never did it twice on the same task. Again, it doesn’t ruin the app (especially since it’s free), but it gives it a rough around the edges feel.

Overall

Phone2Anything is not the prettiest app in the app store, but it’s a great search app if you plan on traveling or find yourself in an unfamiliar environment. Even if you’re tooling around in your hometown, the ability to search for nearby businesses by category rather than by typing on the map is handy. The built-in map and web search make the app very useful for all of your traveling needs.

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