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User-powered food discovery and sharing app
Size: 65.8 MB
Platform: iPhone / iPad
Developer: Eaten Technologies
Part social media, part food diary, part restaurant rating system – Eaten is an app that looks to help folk find decent food thanks to reviews powered by its own users.
Wait, isn’t that Yelp? TripAdvisor? Etc.? Well, yes and no. Those other apps often focus on the restaurant itself – the staff, the decor, the quality of after-dinner mint provided. Eaten is purely about the diners, and the dishes around them. It’s about creating a foodie community that is both looking for, and happy to recommend food to others.
It also focuses more on the food itself – and we’re not talking types of cuisine, we’re talking specific items. Users rate individual dishes, and that’s what appears in the app. We went to a burger chain called Byron, and we specifically reviewed the chicken burger. It wasn’t great, but we know their hamburgers were great. And guess what, there were already reviews based on their hamburgers saying just that.
This specificity expands elsewhere. While other apps might allow you to search for Indian food, or Pizza, or Sushi, Eaten allows you to go further. We had a very specific craving for chicken wings while testing this app – so we typed it in, and lo and behold, we were shown a number of joints nearby waiting happily to serve just that.
Fancy carbonara but don’t want to have to scroll through all the Italian restaurants and take a risk? Search for carbonara and you’ll see how nearby restaurants stack up in their ability to prepare that specific dish.
So, here’s how you take part. Download the app and sign up. You then have a profile which will store a list of all the restaurants you visit and rate. To rate a restaurant, you find it on the map, select it, and rate your specific dish. You can upload photos, hashtags, @ mentions and comments, which are then added to your profile, keeping a record of where you’ve been and what you’ve eaten.
You can also follow other users if you think you have similar tastes, which could help you find some restaurant gems.
While the app is still growing, in major areas there are a ton of reviews. Even in smaller areas, there are some good options, but be wary that a user-driven review app is going to lose some of its power in a sparsely populated area.
Is this “Facebook for Food” concept going too far? Perhaps, but its social elements are easier to use and more integrated than other location-based apps that seem to shoehorn them in as if it’s some kind of 21st-century requirement. Here, it feels natural.
So how much might you get out of Eaten? We were absolutely taken by the food discovery element – especially when we were looking for a specific dish. We were less taken by the personal review system – but then we’re not as well versed in food reviews as we are in app reviews. We were just happy to let others know that, sometimes, the chicken burger can be a touch on the dry side.
- Map makes it easy to find places
- Great granular search
- Perfect for picky eaters
- Design leaves a bit to be desired