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There’s nothing worse than a Saturday night and nowhere to go. Some people may have a knack for discovering where the next big social gatherings are, but I’m not one of them. If you find yourself in the same boat it can be a little stressful – especially, if you’re looking to blow off a little steam after a difficult week of work. Most of us aren’t looking to fill a social calendar with something to do every night as everyday life takes care of most days for us. What we want is a way to fill those weekend nights with epic adventures when we’re feeling refreshed and have a little more time on our hands. There are some apps in the App Store that are designed to help make the process a little easier.
Social Status – Find Your Crowd is one option you may want to try. This app was created to give you a real time picture of where the happening spots in your area are. You may think you’ve seen this type of thing many times before, but this particular app is a little different from the typical fare out there. This is a free app and it’s compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
The annoying thing about a lot of other social scene apps like this, is that they require you to go through a lengthy sign-up process before you get going. There’s none of that here. If you want to just get going and find out what’s happening in your area right now, you can do that. You don’t have to wait at all. You can create a profile and collaborate with your friends to add some fun, but that decision is entirely up to you. When you consider that you’re using a social app like this to find things to do, so you can unwind from the stresses of the week, it’s refreshing to see that they’re not trying to add to them!
I have no problem admitting I hate lists – at least when it comes to my leisure time. Those are meant to be used when I’m working – not when I’m trying to kick back and enjoy myself. I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of you probably share these feelings. That’s why I was glad to see that Social Status – Find Your Crowd avoids this approach for organizing information in their app. Instead they use a visual map interface so you can find all the hotspots and their exact geographical location. You simply tap on the pin to access any location’s information. It’s simple, straightforward, and it doesn’t seem like work.
It took me a few seconds to get in the swing of things with this app because there really are no instructions to follow. You just have to use the old trial and error method to figure it all out. That approach isn’t the end of the world, but nevertheless it is an oversight that could be corrected fairly easily in a future version of the app.
Other than the visual map interface we’ve already mentioned, there is also an easy access menu bar at the top of the app which lets you toggle between different types of venues that you may be looking for. You can focus exclusively on restaurants, on bars, or the best nightclubs in the area. You can even load all three at the same time. It’s a user friendly setup that most will find very familiar.
Most apps of this kind are pretty generic. They just gather results from search engines and display them on the screen. It’s up to you to visit the various locations physically and figure out which ones are really happening. This trial and error method isn’t much better than the methods those dinosaurs back in the 80’s and early 90’s used. Social Status actually collects data from users to give you a good picture of which bars or nightclubs have good crowds now – that way you don’t have to waste your time visiting places that are all but deserted.
Color Coded Results
The map interface is a great idea, but the creators of this app have tried to make their app even more user friendly. Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs are actually color coded based on their crowds. This approach makes it easy to see at a glance where the best places to be are. Blue means not busy at all, yellow means you can expect a normal sized crowd, and red means get ready for an adventure as it’s going to be busy. It takes all of the guesswork out of planning your night out.
As good as the color coordinating concept is, the app is actually even more user friendly than that. They go so far as to break down the crowd sizes by time. You can select a nightclub and view its busy periods on a simple bar graph. That means you can wait until you know it will be hopping before you head out. This will save you from twiddling your thumbs for the first couple of hours while you wait for the real fun to begin.
If you’ve been disappointed with the static information based approach of most social gathering apps, Social Status – Find Your Crowd will seem like a breath of fresh air. This app uses real time data from its users so that you can actually find out where the busy spots are before you head out. The unique color coded approach makes it easy to follow. When you want to take a night off and unwind this app is a great place to get the party started.
Allan is a freelance writer who loves scouring the App Store for exciting, intriguing and unique apps.