Where To? 10.5 is now available, and it’s a substantial update, particularly targeting two major areas of the app: search and reviews. We put a lot of thought into the design process so I’d like to walk you through the changes.
Search hasn’t been changed significantly for quite some time and it had one major weakness: the differentiation between category and location search. We used to solve this by prepending the results with two special options, “Search Address” and “Search Business”. While this did the job, it wasn’t particularly intuitive and required to think about the two options.
For Where To? 10.5, our goal was to provide an all-in-one search that blends categories, places, addresses and contacts in one search results list. We already used this approach in the iMessage app introduced last fall and now took it over to the main app. The major advantage is that you immediately see the results as you type, including the place’s rating. Search results marked as a favorite places are now shown with a green distance pill, not in a separate section.
There were some gotchas though. When searching in one of the category lists such as “Food & Drink”, the now-removed “Free Search” special option also had a Plus button to add this search as a new custom category. This was kind of a hidden feature, so we decided to make it more obvious by adding an “Add New Category” option at the end of each category list. We hope that category customization is now more approachable and easy-to-use (deleting categories still works using left swipe). Customization now also works on the Brands level so you can easily add your local pizza chain or bank.
We also reworked the Ratings & Reviews section for business listings. Where To? 10.5 displays user images making the reviews more personal. To create or change your own user image, just open the “Sharing” settings and choose or take a photo.
Quality and facts about businesses change over time so we wanted a way to update reviews you had written before. Now you can simply tap on your own review and update it.
And by the way, I’d love to see more reviews so other users can benefit from your experience! To cheer you up, we now let you know, after posting a review, how your review activity compares to fellow users.
Improved collaboration with Streets
Browsing a Street View panorama or a 360° indoor photo sphere is now even easier. Tapping one of these thumbnail panoramas opens the Streets app directly with the interactive panorama.
Calls via Skype
If the Skype app is installed, tapping a phone number allows you to choose between making a traditional phone call or initiating a Skype call.2 We actually added this feature almost 5 years ago but had to disable it later on because the Skype app stopped supporting the URL scheme required to initiate calls from third party apps. Gladly they fixed this in one of the recent updates.
As usual there are countless minor improvements finding their way into a Where To? update:
- Improved distance display for non-metric locales: We no longer display yards for US and feet for UK users. Also, informed by extensive feedback from UK users about the status quo of the country’s metrification efforts, we now switch to metric units for walking or biking directions as well as for displaying mountain elevations – at least if Where To? is configured with the default “Distance Unit: Automatic” in the “Advanced” settings.
- For a number of new cities, Citymapper is now offered as a public transport directions app.
- There’s now a fair and growing share of US dinner menus with photos of individual menu items.
- Reclaims storage space, same as in Streets.
- The video player for listings with videos has been fixed.
- + many more small improvements and bug fixes