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POV: Can EatingAround Replace Foursquare?

Posted on 11.07.2014

By Daniel Ors, Fueled ::

Foursquare is perhaps the most complete app available on iPhone and Android for finding new places to eat near you. It incorporates ratings, pictures, a menu, contact information and detailed reviews so you can see how people enjoyed the experience of eating at a particular location. Foursquare has worked very hard to bring you all these great details and information about the restaurants in your town, hamlet, urban sprawl, or quaint single-hut, one carriage dot on the map. But they forgot one very important thing: People are terrible at making decisions.

We are even worse at being decisive about where to eat. It becomes downright suffocating when we are bombarded with information about all the choices that are nearby. Foursquare’s wealth of detail has only made this worse - I’ve long found myself frozen, staring straight ahead, entirely clueless and unable to make a decision between the 3 or 4 restaurants presented to me by both Foursquare and my friends. All of them always sound so good, seem too perfect to pass up. This becomes even worse when you live in a vertical, highly accessible city like New York. Everything you could ever want is within walking distance of your location. What could possibly solve the problem? We have all the information we could want about the places available to us, but find ourselves fussing over the wealth of choice.

Enter the new app, EatingAround. It streamlines the bombardment of information into a few simple, yet crucial, details for the user: the name of the restaurant, a yummy picture of the food they serve, and a small link to directions to their location as well as their phone number in the upper right corner.

The first time I used it, I made a decision within seconds. All I had to do was enter the type of food, and the range around me. It presented me with a quick series of pictures of food. Easy. Simple. No more oversaturation of information. No more staring blankly at the ceiling, pondering how I ever made a rational decision in my life before.

According to the makers of EatingAround, “It's simple [...] There are no stars, no reviews, no logins, just restaurants. Food is our focus, so we put it front and center.”

Ignorance is bliss. Food is back. The second one of my friends opens Foursquare, I will plug my ears and loudly exclaim my disappointment with their incessant need for non-vital information.

Daniel Ors is an editor Fueled, the leading iPhone app builder in New York City, renowned for its award winning mobile design and strategy.

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