I’ve been known to frequent a few pubs in my time, so when word came through of the Good Pub Guide’s new app I was keen to give it a whirl. Created by the makers of the well-established and bestselling Good Pub Guide book, the app contains all of the pub information and reviews you’ll find in the book.
Finding a pub
On launching the app, you’re presented with a map showing your location, and the option to find pubs nearby or to search a selected location. The location search offers a variety of options – county, town, postcode or tube. You can then use the search box, or scroll through the list of locations presented on screen. This search function is easy to use, intuitive and speedy.
Of course, one of the most appealing features of an app like this is the ability to use your phone’s GPS to locate pubs nearby. As the app locked onto my location pretty much instantly on launching, it’s a simple case of tapping the “Near Me” option to display a list of pubs, ordered by distance from me. Tapping the Map button displays the results on a map, as you’d expect, where tapping on the pin marker allows you to navigate to the pub details page.
By default, the search results display only those pubs which are featured in the guide, with a red dot denoting a “main entry” – a pub which has been fully inspected by GPG staff – and an orange dot for a “lucky dip” – a pub which has been recommended by several readers. The results can be expanded to include pubs not listed in the guide, and if you deem it worthy, the “Send Feedback” option allows you to forward your opinion of the pub to the makers.
Results can also be filtered by a selection of criteria, including GPG awards in areas such as beer and food; and features such as child-friendliness and accommodation.
The detailed page for each pub contains all the information you’d expect to find, with opening hours, contact details and a map – with a very handy “Navigate Here” option which allows you to open up Maps, which will displays the route from your current location to your hostelry of choice. In addition, you’ll find the GPG recommendation for the establishment (for the main entries) or a selection of readers’ comments (for the lucky dips); an idea of the food available; extra information such as policies on children and dogs; and any awards the pub has received from the GPG.
In addition to the comprehensive data included – the app contains 5,000 reviews, with details for an additional 20,000 pubs – there are a couple of additions which round out the app nicely. If you discover a pub which you wish to recommend to a friend, the “Share Pub” button on the pub details page enables you to send an email containing the contact details and description as featured in the app. And if you know a pub which you think deserves a spot in the guide, the “New Pub” button will let you put your nomination forward.
Random House have come up with a brilliant app here. It’s clear that a lot of effort has gone into making the app polished, as easy on the eye as it is easy to use. At £4.99 it is a bit more than some people like to pay for apps – but when you consider the book retails at £15.99, and the app offers the listings plus excellent additional features, for less than the cost of two pints this is great value for money. Highly recommended for the pub-goer among us.
The Good Pub Guide 2012 is available now from iTunes, priced £4.99.