A closer look at Spotcast for BlackBerry 10

By Alicia Erlich on 7 Aug 2013 01:35 pm EDT
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One of the issues I have working in a big city such as New York, is that I never know what places to visit or what restaurant to try other than the same few I've frequented for years. To help alleviate that problem is Spotcast. Billed as part foursquare and part local search engine it is a handy application for finding various venues in your area and providing deals, reviews, and cool finds all in one place.

We previously reported the application being available but there have been numerous updates so, of course, a proper walkthrough of these updated features was only necessary.

Built as a native application by some of the former developers behind Poynt, it goes beyond the standard yellow pages by offering an array of different functions when you're out and about to find an enjoyable spot.

Features

  • Find: Spotcast allows users to find businesses (restaurants, shops, etc.) and other places via location-based search (US and Canada)
  • Spotcast: Create, share and read posts (Spotcasts) about great deals, finds, reviews and events
  • Promote: Vote up the Spotcasts you find valuable to help others see them too
  • Map: View map location and directions, get contact information or click-to-call for each location listing
  • Mobile Wallet: Tip Calculator, Bill Splitter and scan and securely store Loyalty Cards
  • Weather: Stay up to date and make decisions based on your local short term and extended weather forecast
  • Share: Email/text/BBM location info or Spotcasts while updating your BBM status

What makes this application different is what they call Spotcasts. These brief, twitter like posts, are submitted by users and describe deals, reviews, and tips about the local venues (based on GPS) that are the first thing you see upon launching the application. What I like is how you can share your experiences and even recommend a "cool find" for places that no one has heard of. I'm still discovering out of the way places in NYC based on word of mouth and this certainly helps spread the word about a favorite hangout.

Also packaged in this application is a wallet category that includes the all important tip calculator, bill splitter if you are sharing the tab with friends or family, a place to save store loyalty cards, and access to weather courtesy of accuweather. You may also locate venues by category which are broken down by spotcasts and then by results based on your GPS.

The main attraction for me though is the social aspect and the interactions based on the spotcasts. Now that the application is cross-platform and available for iOS and Android, this opens users up to a larger community to share reviews and deals with.

While Poynt was my search engine of choice on BBOS, Spotcast has slowly become my go-to local search app to find new places in my area. As a Built-for-BlackBerry application I'd say it is worth a try for the available features. It supports all BlackBerry 10 devices and is free to download.

Please keep in mind that this application is region specific and at this time is only available in Canada and the United States.

More information/download Spotcast

35 comments

Poirots Progeny

Sounds interesting, thanks! :-)

Posted via CB10 on my BlackBerry Q10

Tricky Mustache

Nobody in Chicago uses it so it's pretty worthless right now

Posted via CB10

Danny Ocean

I checked it out and so far have had the same experience here in Minneapolis. There looks to be only a handful of active users. I like the idea though, and if it gets more users seems like it could be a useful app.

Posted via CB10

canada1969

I read it and in the i find out its not available for European countries.Ciao from Italy !

Posted via CB10

mandony

I found it limited in New York City.
There seems to be no way to enter a negative response (only thumbs up).
So far nobody has entered any reviews here.

They seem to draw their lists from one of the servers like google or bing, not taking into account if the item listed is bonefide in the category.
I suppose it is OK, but google maps and poynt are better.

miguel89to

And foursquare is WAY better in BlackBerry 10. I have it and it is good to find new places, put reviews and put pictures of what you ate.

Posted via CB10

sfcramsey

I have posted a few times and it really is handy to locate various types of business. Wish more people used it as it really is a smooth app full of practical uses. I live in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago and it is rare to see a review. BlackBerry maps works flawlessly with the app to boot.

syplex

I have tried using this many times, there are no users really and all the top spot casts are for large crap chains like McDonald's, papa johns, target, etc.

What we really really need is yelp. Its driving me nuts not having yelp on my z10. Thats the best way to find local bars and restaurants near me m, as well as hours, menus, and phone numbers.

Posted via CB10

Omnitech

Many people have asked Yelp to produce a BB10 app but they have never shown much interest.

There is an app called "Local Search with Yelp" which is OK, but what I'm doing these days is using Shaosoft's new Evolution web browser, set the Agent ID to iPhone, and go to Yelp's website directly.

Since Yelp like many braindead companies doesn't care to adjust their website design for the native BB10 browser, they serve it a "desktop" page which is a PITA to use. With the Evolution browser, it demonstrates that their site is perfectly usable on a smartphone as long as they bother to serve you the mobile-specific pages.

drewread

This is just the web dev being lazy. They just need to add this browser type to their redirect file for their mobile site.

#GetWithBB10 Channel @ C000D7228

djraz_official

I miss some of the features that poynt had so i have both on here. I wish bb had purchased poynt when it had difficulties. This would have been the perfect app. Blend spotcast and poynt and perfection behold

Posted via CB10

tightlybound

Downloaded it on your recommendation. This is worthless junk. It's all corporate messages for things 20 miles away from me. Uninstalling now.

Posted via CB10

bb4lifeYYZ

I wouldn't call it worthless junk as i have been using this app for some time now. I agree - it'll get better the more users use it but as Alica said - it's a local search with a social aspect so even if there aren't users in the area sharing, i still use it for finding places and love the loyalty card feature! I'm actually a big fan of this app and have seen more and more users in the Toronto area are using it so i find it useful and can't wait to see where the developer takes it.

dew066

I'm not trying to sound hateful but it seems that Crackberry.com is posting good reviews for all the apps they supposedly review. I would like it if they would do actual reviews so I don't waste time downloading junk.

Posted via CB10 via BlackBerry Z10 (Telus)

tightlybound

I think they're just so ecstatic to find any app at all that's native that they switch completely into cheerleader mode. And yes, while it's wonderful that a handful of developers are actually making OS10 apps, it would be even more wonderful if they were useful.

TelusBB

I've used Spot cast and Poynt on my Z10 and surprisingly spot cast is a lot better. I ended up deleting Poynt because it was too buggy. It's an android port.

Posted via CB10

clickitykeys

I have been using Spotcast for the past couple of months. The main advantage for me is the ability to store loyalty cards and library cards and so on.

Thus, Spotcast serves as a substitute for the Keyring app that I used to have on Android. It prevents my wallet from becoming as thick as a burger :-).

Posted via CB10

Stephen Severino

Obviously, if everyone simply deletes the app because there are no postings, there will never be any postings.

Posted via CB10

mandony

Good point ...
I used it and found it deficient compared to other (much better) apps.
Delete, I will.

Genghis2k3

Excellent point that I've been too lazy to post myself. I use it to find places and it works just fine for that purpose. I've only remembered to post one review on the app. If everyone on CB were to provide a review of a spot they've visited, it would be a big help. No need to go there - just review the spot down the block or across from your job. Go! Do it now!

Ok now I've worn myself out

ventz

This was the second app I downloaded after buying the q10...I opened it in 3 places in/around Boston, and from the 5-8 places listed, not even one had a review. Between yelp and zagat, this market is claimed. Even yelp had a hard time getting people. Using "yet another system" is simply not realistic unless there is a great reason. In this space, I am not sure what it would be/if there is one. Either way, I still have the app, but as someone else mentioned, it's basically useless.

Posted via CB using a Q10

Genghis2k3

After choosing a spot, did you review it?

ventz

I wanted to try something new, but didn't have any reviews, so eventually I decided to go to a favorite in Brighton. This might just be where I was, or maybe the GPS was not fixed, but I was blown away that there was a whole list of 0 reviewed places.

No - I didn't review it. I personally very rarely review places. Usually when there is something really good or really bad. But to be honest, given the "usage" on this app, I doubt that I will use it.

What pisses me off is that Yelp __had__ an app on BB, and they don't seem to have one for OS10.

imcurved

Was it good to use around Boston? Thanks.

Post via CB Z10

ventz

The two places I launched it, no.

Maybe the reviews didn't load because I simply cannot believe that 3-4 miles outside of downtown boston there is a page of places without a single review. I will try again just to make sure, but if it really is 0, that will be it.

clickitykeys

BTW, totally agree with the posters saying that the app doesn't hold a candle to Zagat or Yelp. The social review aspect of it isn't really up to snuff.

I just decided that this would be my Keyring replacement and nothing else. At least, it doesn't crash repeatedly unlike the Android port of FidMe. :-|

Posted via CB10

dtarin

I prefer Foursquare

Posted via CB10

bb4lifeYYZ

Not to get compare this app to the others mentioned in above posts but i think the concept is being missed - i don't see this as a review app nor have i used this as one. Users here share deals or things happening in realtime and that's the benefit - so we know from others and don't miss out on things. I can personally say i have seen some deals and things happening that i wouldn't have known about in my area. I like Fsq and Yelp and use Fsq on my Z10 but i also like this app. My 2cents and when more people start using it, this app will be really useful. From the previous CB post it looks like these guys just launched on BB10 first so they are relatively a new company.

1raygin

Downloaded. Very nice app. Native and very attractive. This will replace Poynt for me.

Posted via CB10

CrazyBack

I tried using it. At first I thought this app could be promising, kind of a Yelp version for the BlackBerry community. However, the more I use it I realized it was just a half-a** app that the search function is limited, the review UI is rather irrelevant. Most of all, I hardly see anyone on it. So I turned to Foursquare for most of my search and check-in's.

Arabianhorse

I am in New York for the week now and I have to say it's a fantastic app in dense urban areas. If you don't know the town, it's fabulous for spontaneous plans! You can find great eating places and shops where ever you're at. Try it!

In the Midwest my go to is Poynt.

Posted via CB10

sakin13

Amazing app. Used it in New York for a couple days and I must say I'm very impressed. Love the rating system too. No stars and bs. You either like or don't like... no room for games :)
Highly recommended. Hope is an intuitive in other areas...

Posted via CB10

Adva_

Tried to use the app before and I downloaded it again today to see if it has more users now or not, it doesn't. This app would be more useful if it integrated other systems such as foursquare, Google and yelp. No one likes to have dozens of accounts for similar systems.

Posted via Z10

SparkyBC

Wanna be yelp app. No user base, so how can it suggest places? Yelp has millions of users

Meaty123

Spotcast is ok. Some places you find needs to be updated though. Foursquare seems to be better cuz you see pics of the place you are looking at. Thx of course to the users.

Posted via CB10