If you’re like us, you’re constantly spotting cool-looking restaurants you want to try, but when the time comes to pick a place on your night out, you blank. Matchbook hopes to help you remember those restaurants (or any location) with a super easy-to-use bookmarking app.
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Launched in spring 2011 with various updates since then, Matchbook is a combination of restaurant-location, social check-in, to-do list and coupon apps such as Groupon. Instead of asking you to check in to a restaurant you already visited, Matchbook allows you to, in a sense, check in to places you want to go in the future so you don’t forget them.
With a sleek and sophisticated design and an intuitive interface, Matchbook (with its name denoting the matchbooks you take away from restaurants) is definitely better than using the back of a napkin or an old notebook to remember those must-try places.
A major benefit of this app consists of the deals and coupons you receive from expressing interest in a business. With update 1.6 (launched early 2012), Matchbook pings you with LivingSocial, Groupon or GiltCity deals for those want-to-try places on your Bookmarks list within the app. Instead of receiving deal notifications for all local businesses (as Groupon, for instance, will generate), Matchbook only brings you deals for the places you want to go. (Consequentially, the longer your Bookmarks list is, the more deals you’ll get.) Matchbook's deals have become known as intent-based deals, offering more incentive for a person to visit a business if they have a deal or coupon for it.
To bookmark a place, enter a location’s name or simply tap i’m walking by it. The latter option will produce a list of places closest to you. You can also manually search for a specific place using a cool moveable circle over a Google Map. This comes in handy when you want to search for a lunch spot, for instance, in a particular neighborhood.
When you select a spot, you can type a quick note about the place (say, you’re drawn to a bar for its eclectic outdoor decorations), get more information about the business (including photos and reviews from foursquare) and add tags.
Tags consist of the types of drinks a restaurant offers to the type of vibe it embodies. (We tagged one of our must-try restaurants with Maragaritas, Live Music and Trendy.) These tags will allow you to quickly remember things about a location and search for places within your Bookmarks list.
Once you add a location, you can share it on Facebook or via a text message, and you can even preview how your post will look before you broadcast it to your networks. Lastly, save the place to your Bookmarks list, and you’ll then select want to go or I went, and you can edit this setting in the future.
All of the various settings, tags and filters make browsing your bookmarks a breeze. Filter your list by tags, neighborhood, date, proximity, want to go vs. I went, or look at them all at once on a map.
For forgetful foodies and list lovers, Matchbook is a must-download. It even comes with a desktop plug-in component that lets you bookmark places you find online and sync them to your mobile app. Our only want is the ability to add a photo of a location (in addition to a note) when we bookmark a place. And to come out on Android, of course.
Reviewed: Jul 10, 2012 | Mary GeorgerAlso featured on: Matchbook App Helps You Remember Those Must-Try Restaurants
This app is included in a scenario called 6 Must-Have Apps for City Slickers