As I mentioned previously, I was given a promo code to try out a brand new vegan app for the iPhone and iPod touch.
The name VegOut brings back fond memories for me. Veg Out was a great vegetarian restaurant in Brisbane, Australia. (I lived in Queensland, Australia for six months.) Anyway, it makes me think of their amazing sweet potato fries. They're no longer open, though.
Anyway, on to the review...
Starting up the VegOut app
When first loading the VegOut app, it attempts to use your current location. I received the following error message: Your location could not be determined. I was bummed but I don't blame the app, as other apps on my iPod touch (such as Google Maps) are unable to find my current location. I guess my iPod doesn't know where Stratford, Prince Edward Island is.
Because VegOut couldn't find my current location I was prompted to manually add my location in Settings. I clicked on Settings and input my address. It worked! The three (yes, only three) results in HappyCow in Charlottetown were displayed. The results were listed by proximity to me and were complete with ratings, a label of Vegan, Vegetarian, or Veg Friendly, and the distance to each.
I was impressed and decided to go back to the Settings menu to play around some more.
Settings for the VegOut app
Here are all the settings you can configure:
- Location: You can choose to use your current location or manually specify a location.
- Distance: You're able to adjust the range to search in from your location.
- Sort by: You can sort by Distance, Rating (average user rating on HappyCow), or Alphabetical.
- Filter by diet: You can filter by diet to display Vegan, Vegetarian, or Veg Friendly businesses (or any combination thereof).
Information displayed for a business
If you click on a business in your search results you are shown the following information:
- Type of food
- Address: Clicking on the address will display the business on a map. You can then easily get directions to the destination.
- Website: Clicking on the URL will bring up the website for the business. The program keeps a small bar at the bottom to allow you to easily close the window and go back to where you were in the app.
- Details: Clicking here will take you to the entry on HappyCow's website, where you can view user reviews.
Problems encountered using the VegOut app
- Current Location: As I mentioned above, the application did not find my current location. However, I think that's a bigger issue with the iPod touch. For some reason it doesn't find me here on Prince Edward Island. I'll be curious to see how well it works when I'm back in DC next month. I'm assuming it'll work much better.
- Maps: When pulling a business up on a map, I wasn't entirely clear on how to get back to the app. The app didn't keep a bar present like it did when I clicked on Details to load a website. The only way I could figure out to get back to the app was to go to my home screen on the iPod and load the app again, which took me back to the app's main screen. Maybe I'm missing something. If not, I'd suggest adding this functionality in the next version.
Questions about the VegOut app
- Does the app automatically pull new data from HappyCow if/when the HappyCow website is updated? For example, if a new vegan restaurant opens in Washington, DC and is added to HappyCow will that appear in the app right away?
I love the VegOut application. The only thing I could find that I didn't like was the fact that you can't easily get back to the app once you load a business on a Google Map. If you have an iPhone or an iPod touch I highly recommend downloading it. It's $4.99 and worth every penny. I keep thinking of how useful this app is going to be when I'm traveling.
For more information, you can visit the VegOut application's website or download the VegOut app from iTunes.
(Image courtesy of the VegOut application's website)