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TripAdvisor

This well-known Web-based travel community has a great deal of useful crowd-sourced information, and I often check what others have to say there before booking a hotel or a restaurant reservation. The mobile apps bring much of that information to your mobile device. You can search for places to stay and eat, and find things to do, as well as filter results by category and see results plotted on a map. You can also see a summary of reviews — how many users have offered ratings of excellent, very good, average, poor or terrible — as well as read the reviews, which can also be helpful, since one person’s drawbacks might not be another’s.

For a truly important vacation decision, such as where to stay for a week, I’ll typically use the TripAdvisor website, since there you can also see a reviewer’s history — how many reviews they’ve done in how many cities and how many times their reviews have been rated helpful. You can also click through to see the person’s other reviews, so you know if they’re only posting glowing accounts or if they do nothing but complain about everything.

Unfortunately, you can’t get all that information on the apps. On the iPad app, you can see the number of other reviews a reviewer has posted as well as how many have been voted helpful, but you can’t click through to see them. On an Android phone, there’s no information easily available about the reviewer beyond that specific review.

Bottom line

TripAdvisor is a useful app to load if you’re looking for a place to eat or something to do.