How often do you find yourself looking for the next best place to eat? There are so many options these days, and you never know where to go for the best reviews. Yelp has proven to be very trustworthy with a lot of nifty features, and it also holds a large share of users in their community — but what about something new?
Nosh is the perfect mobile network for all foodies and app enthusiasts. It’s a great way to share your experience with eating out at nearly any restaurant, and is practically the best mobile app for reviewing foods and the overall dining experience. For more info, hit the jump.
It may help to clarify a bit about what Nosh actually does. You can think of the app as a cross between Foursquare and Yelp. You’ll be able to check-in to each restaurant you visit and use this to post a new status update. Using Nosh you are answering the question, “what is a good meal choice here?”
If you check into a joint and there have already been a few reviews, you’ll be presented with these right away. This is the true beauty of Nosh — even if you aren’t following any of the original reviewers, you can choose to browse their thoughts on some of the dishes. What better way to decide which foods to try?
When you go to review a menu item, the proper verb is “noshing.” You can nosh just about anything you find on the menu, and this includes giving a star rating from 1-5 with an optional photo attached. If your profile is set to public, then your review will be tagged to the specific restaurant, and all your followers will see the review pop into their stream.
Account Creation and Networking
After first launch the app will display a very warm welcome screen. There is a button towards the bottom, just click this to proceed onto the signup page. Simply enter in some login details and you’ll be given a free Nosh account. Now you can start reviewing and rating anywhere!
Thing is, your homepage feed will be quite lonely, aside from the standard Nosh updates, but the app has a few direct connect features so that you can tie into Facebook/Twitter and pull out any Nosh users. Additionally, you can search through your iPhone contacts list for any matching profiles. But as one way out you may consider going to your profile (bottom right tab) and clicking on your followers.
Here you’ll find the Nosh profile, and they have a laundry list of users whom you may be interested in. Note that Nosh is still a very new application and growing wildly, therefore you may struggle to find any friends on the network at first, but you can still read others’ reviews of the many restaurants you visit. This is what really makes Nosh a powerful social networking application.
In-Depth User Features
While we’re still on your profile page you may wish to update a few things. You probably don’t have any reviews at this point, so your feed is likely to be very bare. Odds are good your account is also using the standard avatar image. This can be changed by simply tapping the image area and choosing one of the new upload options.
Back on your Feed tab you can see the latest Nosh updates in real time. Similar to many Twitter apps, you can pull down the whole feed box to refresh updates at any point. To get a taste of the details pane simply tap on any review box. This brings up a couple of new panes onto your screen.
The very top box will lead to the users’ profile page. From here you can follow them or check out their other Nosh updates. Additionally, you’ll see details in the second box for the total number of stars and a quick review. Tap this for some more details, along with a larger photo display at the bottom. What’s interesting here is you can re-nosh a menu item at any point from your feed, even if you aren’t eating there currently!
Giving this power to the userbase means reviews will grow a lot quicker. Users don’t need to be sitting down about to eat before they can rate a bit of menu food. If you don’t have a personal review but wish to leave a small comment instead, you can find the box at the very bottom of any review page (underneath the photo). I often check the comments in a menu item to see if others agree with the original reviewer.
Individual Restaurant Menus
Another area Nosh has hit upon is including an entire menu listing for each venue. If you look on the details pane of any item review you should notice a location bar (often coupled with a house icon). If you tap this it will bring up more information about the type of restaurant, location and even phone number. Users can take photos inside the building and upload these directly to the Nosh venue page.
From the Options menu, you’re also able to check out a map showing the location of the restaurant. This will open in a new view with the maps in fullscreen and a pin at the exact location. If you look in the top right corner, you’ll notice a small button labeled “Menu.” Tap this and a nifty flip effect will reveal all of the menu items.
From here you have a few more options. The top navigation tabs are used for sorting the menu items — by default you’re sorting by the highest rated. You can additionally choose between alphabetically or by your friends’ reviews. Tapping on any of the menu items will let you post your own review of that particular dish. And there are so many menus being added every day, Nosh is truly a vast community for foodies from all around the world!
If you are a big fan of mobile review apps, Nosh may very well be up your alley, especially if you enjoy going out to eat and love to try new places. Currently many of the restaurants in their directory are located in the San Francisco area and along the west coast of the United States. This is because the mobile company Firespotter Labs is based out of SF, so many of the first users have been from the same geographical area.
But there are a lot more people from all around the world joining into the activity, and for the iPhone you can’t find a whole lot of rich alternatives with as much interactivity. If you can get your friends using the app it’s a great way to stay in touch and share your dining experience with each other. I highly recommend trying this check-in-meets-review style app and toying around a bit. If you’ve been a user of Nosh feel free to offer your opinions in the comments area below.