Apple Integrating Yelp Check-Ins Directly into iOS 6 Maps

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One of Apple's major announcements at its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month was Maps for iOS 6, which marks a shift away from Google's services with the deployment of Apple's own mapping app driven by TomTom and a host of other partners.

Apple shared during the event that local search and business listings for the new Maps app will include Yelp integration, and Bloomberg now notes Apple's iOS 6 developer materials reveal that users will be able to use Yelp check-ins directly in the app. While the information has been known since the release of iOS 6 beta materials, Bloomberg's report is bringing it much broader exposure today.

Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s upcoming iPhone map application will include Yelp Inc. (YELP)’s “check-in” feature to let users broadcast their whereabouts to friends, according to materials Apple distributed to software developers.

Apple Maps, which will replace Google Inc. (GOOG) as the default location service in software set to debut later this year, will allow users to communicate through Yelp without exiting the map and opening a new app, the materials show.

Mobile check-in services such as those offered by Foursquare, Facebook, and Yelp have become increasingly popular as social smartphone users seek ways to share their daily activities with their friends and document places they've visited.

By integrating features such as Yelp, Siri, and Flyover 3D imagery into its Maps app, Apple hopes to compete favorably with the Google Maps app that has been used in iOS since the launch of the original iPhone in 2007. Apple will also include turn-by-turn navigation with traffic support in the new app, features that Google has already deployed in its mapping application for Android devices but so far implemented only partially or not at all on iOS.

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106 months ago

With millions of new users I'm assuming Yelp is about to become a lot more useful with more balanced reviews.

Probably not.

The biggest problem with Yelp is that they operate as an extortion racket. They will not remove bad reviews unless the business owner pays a fee to Yelp. That's how Yelp makes money.

In an "ideal" world, Yelp-like reviews would be normalized with the top ten percent and top ten percent of scores removed. This would largely eliminate a lot of fraudulent reviews (business owners getting friends to provide glowing scores, or competitors bashing their peers). A few truthful third-party reviews would be eliminated as well, but those contributors, in seeing their reviews vanish, would be discouraged from submitted additional reviews.

The other big problem is the issue of qualified reviews. Would you trust more for a review of the local sushi bars and burger joints? The restaurant critic at the local newspaper or your next door neighbors? Let's say the newspaper critic grew up in the Midwest as the son of a butcher. Let's say the neighbor to your left is a lady from Venezuela. And the neighbor on your right is a chef from Austin, TX. More reviews isn't necessarily helpful but Yelp's business needs traffic, and does much of it by getting people to interact and contribute reviews.

Yelp is more useful if you are out of town and too lazy to do research from qualified local reviewers. But Yelp users must realize that they basically asking some random person on the street. Popularity does not make a place good; McDonald's is a great example of this. Even a "quality" regional chain like In-n-Out Burgers is subject to this. For every In-n-Out location, there's likely a mom-and-pop burger joint within a couple of miles that blows doors on that In-n-Out store.

When you use Yelp, you are asking the Great Unwashed for their opinion.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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106 months ago
For a company that likes to control the user experience and likes to the deliver the entire package, Apple's recent move to integrate with other companies seems odd.

I guess they can't compete with Google in this area without help.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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106 months ago
With millions of new users I'm assuming Yelp is about to become a lot more useful with more balanced reviews.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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106 months ago

Apple should straighten yelp out as a company before investing so much in them. They try to extort advertising money from local businesses and if you don't pay them they filter all the positive reviews from your yelp listing.


Yelp is a HORRIBLE INFORMATION SOURCE for Hotels. Nobody uses the information to find hotels. (Our hotel is a MAJOR BRAND in a MID-MAJOR MARKET and the Yelp site gets about 1-3 hits per week.)

WHAT'S WORSE is that Yelp is just a "dumping ground" for people looking to slam a business with a bad review. There is no response ability or problem-resolution process for businesses that want to ACTUALLY SERVE their customers.

IT'S AWFUL!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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106 months ago

Even though I'm still going to likely choose Google Maps, competition is good. I use Yelp all the time and this is definitely a convenient feature



Well Google will probably issue a standalone map app but it won't be integrated in the OS like Apple's maps will or Google is now. When you click on a link or address it will by default bring up Apple's Map, not Googles. That is the difference between an app that you will have to copy and paste (a hassle) an address to (Google Maps) and an iOS embedded API like Apples Maps which will link to all programs through the iOS level API.

There isn't a default system wide choice.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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106 months ago

Yelp is a HORRIBLE INFORMATION SOURCE for Hotels. Nobody uses the information to find hotels. (Our hotel is a MAJOR BRAND in a MID-MAJOR MARKET and the Yelp site gets about 1-3 hits per week.)

WHAT'S WORSE is that Yelp is just a "dumping ground" for people looking to slam a business with a bad review. There is no response ability or problem-resolution process for businesses that want to ACTUALLY SERVE their customers.

IT'S AWFUL!

Another issue with Yelp, TomTom, and all those third parties is that they have a spotty track record (or often no presence at all) outside of the US.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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