Bizzy for the iPhone Helps You Find Places to Go
Bizzy is another one of those location-based apps that lets you “check in” or “check out” various places around you. Unlike Foursquare, which gives some basic ability to comment on various locations, Bizzy focuses on helpful reviews that break free of the typical “I’m here hanging out” location update scheme.
When you first load Bizzy, you’re asked to sign in using Facebook or sign up using email. Unfortunately, even after approving the app through Facebook and following the given instructions, I was forced to sign up using an email address as Facebook sign-in continued to fail. Once I was signed up (a very simple process, even on the iPhone), the fun began.
You’re given a list of categories of various businesses and locations you can discover. Instead of restricting your interaction to checking into a place within x meters of your present geolocation, you are able to scan through businesses throughout the city and leave reviews more freely. My first review was of a local steakhouse owned by Willie Nelson.
Just minutes after leaving a review, comments were left and the review was thumbed up by another community member (that admittedly could have been an automatic response). While the vast majority of places still remain bare (at least in Austin) of reviews, there was a quickly perceived sense of community that gave hope that perhaps this service is still in the early stages and growth is on its way.
Unfortunately, the usefulness of Bizzy is directly related to the availability of content entered by the community. If a city or town hasn’t embraced it as of yet, it’s of little use to its local members and will likely be overlooked in favor of Yelp or Foursquare.
Bizzy allows you to add your Twitter and Facebook friends to a watch list so you can keep up with their reviews and recommendations as they explore different areas and establishments.
Overall, Bizzy shows a lot of promise and the app is incredibly simple and easy to use. If it captures the audience, it needs to start building a larger database in areas currently somewhat dry — then it may have a winner on its hands.