Foodspotting is a new iOS app from the company of the same name. The app is available as a free download from the App Store, and is currently enjoying a feature spot in the New & Noteworthy section of the App Store front page.
Foodspotting is a location-based social app designed to help food lovers find new dishes and tell others about the things they have eaten. Essentially, it is a natural progression from the number of pictures of food that many social media users already post on services such as Instagram and Twitter; here, it is the sole reason for the service’s being, and it actually turns out to be quite a good idea.
The initial screen a user is confronted with when they open up Foodspotting for the first time is a view of the best food nearby, presented as a strip of images which the user may scroll back and forth through. Each image carries a note saying what the dish is and the name of the establishment where it was spotted, along with the number of “sightings” it has had. From the main page, users may either dismiss dishes they are not interested in or “star” favorites. They may also tap on the picture to find out additional information about the listing, including the address of the establishment, where it is on the map and any additional information relevant to the location such as Yelp reviews. Users may act on a sighting by marking it as Want, Tried or Loved according to their thoughts on it, and tapping on the list of individual sightings allows users to comment on the photograph (or dish) and, instead of a simple “Like,” mark it as either a “great shot” or a “great find.”
Users may also browse food near them by looking on a map, which shows preview images of the various sighted dishes in their correct locations. From here, users may tap on the various dishes to find the same information. A separate tab also allows users to look for places near their current location rather than dishes, and a “Guides” facility allows users to create their own set of locations and dishes detailing the best places and things to eat in the area.
Submitting a new sighting is a simple matter of tapping the “Spot” button in the lower-center of the screen, taking a photograph (or choosing it from the camera roll) and then filling out the relevant information. Photographs may also be imported from Instagram if the user connects their account and uses the hashtags “#foodspotting” or “#food,” but this option is buried in the app’s settings menu and may not be discovered by many users. The same menu also houses options to connect to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and Flickr.
Foodspotting is an excellent app all-round. Its interface is clean, simple to navigate and intuitive, and the app has a clear, well-defined purpose, unlike many mobile-social apps. It also appears that users are making good use of it — even in the area where I live, which tends to be devoid of people using any social media services more adventurous than Facebook or Twitter, there are a number of listings and interactions showing that the app is getting some use. The app’s usefulness will only improve over time, and with the enhanced visibility gained by its promotion on the App Store front page as well as its comprehensive social media connectivity, things look promising for Foodspotting’s future.
Foodspotting is not currently featured in any leaderboards at the time of writing. Check back shortly to follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers — it’s likely to see some growth in the near future.