Friday, August 29, 2008

Restaurant guide now on the iPhone


Restaurant goers sporting iPhones will now have a leg up in choosing where to dine locally, as yesterday marked the launch of a new local restaurant guide made specifically for the iPhone.
Known as the Restaurant Guide, the new application utilizes the iPhone’s built in user interface abilities to aid in choosing an eatery – abilities such as the ‘maps function’ and touch screen capability allow for browsers to easily navigate through local restaurants on the iPhone touchpad.

The mobile restaurant guide includes 678 locations in Santa Barbara County and 13,789 detailed restaurant reviews. Application surfers can also access photos of their desired restaurant, its address and phone number. Web application creator and founder of John Dickson described the new restaurant guide function as a program which can be access over the internet.
“It is a web application, or a website that is designed specifically for the iPhone,” Dickson said. “It is designed in a way that it functions like a built in program.”
Dickson, who has been working on a version of this restaurant guide since 1996, said it took him nearly 5 months to create the web application.
“The iPhone application ties in to a data base that is available on the regular web,” Dickson said. “The [] Restaurant Guide is one of the most popular restaurant guides in the city and now it is now easily accessible from the iPhone. All you need to do with your iPhone web browser is go to, which launches the application,” Dickson said.
Web application users are also able to call any selected restaurant by viewing its page and touching the phone number on their Iphone.
“I’ve been to every restaurant, every bakery and coffee shop in Santa Barbara, taken my experiences from each one and built that into this web application,” Dickson said. “I also list what has opened recently and all the recent closings and also by price, open late, open early and stuff like that.”
In addition to the application’s accessibility, web application browsers can zoom in on photos of a desired restaurant simply by rotating the phone and can write reviews while still seated inside the restaurant.
“Even though I built the restaurant guide, I use it all the time,” Dickson said. “It’s really useful. You can sort listings by cuisine, location; just about everything. Not only do I cover restaurants from Santa Ynez to Carpinteria, I include Isla Vista and UCSB as well.”
To access the new mobile restaurant guide, direct your iPhone web browser to An iPhone information page is also available online at
“Basically you have 678 South Coast restaurants and 13,789 reviews all in your pocket,” Dickson said. I’ve actually written reviews of a restaurant on my iPhone while I was still in the restaurant.”

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