Sitting at home on a weekend and not knowing what to do or where to go. That’s the fix most of us have to go through on an idle Saturday. Times Internet has launched an application ‘Times City’ which can help with these first world problems. Times City lets you find pubs, theatres and restaurants near you in a clean experience on Android. When I first read the details on the Play Store and the screenshots, all I could say was that it is a mixture of the location based food and events apps we already have in abundance (Read Zomato/Book My Show). How wrong was I? Let’s find out:
How does the app work?
Big bold icons greet you on the home page with a bit more emphasis on the Movies section to highlight the current movies in your city. The application determines your location on signing in with Facebook (Why don’t they provide Twitter sign in feature as well?). You can also manually select your location across 11 major cities listed in the application if your GPS is wonky for some reason.
The application is divided into four categories which it can help you with:
Restaurants: The application shows you the nearest restaurants in your current location and the listing is pretty detailed (for my location at least). You can call any of the restaurants or add them to your contacts directly through their info pages and find it through Google Maps. The app provides standard information about the menus and pricing (though for some local restaurants it was still missing and needs to be updated) and user reviews. The application is still short of quantitative user reviews and I believe it will be increasing with the growing popularity of the application. You also have the ‘Filter’ option (though not as detailed as Zomato’s as of now) where you can find your choice of restaurant catering to your needs.
Events: Great way of finding upcoming and happening events around you. So now when you are in town, you can catch up with your favourite play or maybe a gig around the corner with a friend. Although, expired events were also visible while searching and could have been avoided. Or at least a provision (a strike off mark maybe) to let the user know that the event has already expired.
Movies: Movies section is loaded with info about the nearest theatres where the movie is being played along with the user reviews and you can also check out the movie trailer on YouTube. The only possible solution which was missing here (and I think they can work on it being integrated) is booking of tickets from the application itself. The filter can also have the option to sort/filter theatres by prices (it is an important factor!). You can share the movie details with your friends with social sharing options embedded in the application.
Bars and Pubs: Interface wise, it is similar to the Restaurants section. The review tab under Bars and Pubs contains critic reviews namely based on food, service, decor and yes, you can also submit your review in to the section. The photos tab can have some pictures about the place itself which can help pre-decide the place based on the interiors and ambience rather than just plain jane food pictures. The menu tab here again needs to be updated for some places. A ‘Deal’ based section can also be included within this application for users to avail some discounts with the help of this application. This can generally invoke interests among the youth to use the application and initiate more downloads for starters. Recently, we did see how CCD made good business by tying up with the location based app Hoppr.
How good is the app?
TimesCity is not a new concept and several apps are already present with such solutions. However, this application does combine individual apps in one place and can be of great use if added with some more features and details. Nevertheless the app sports a clean UI and a detailed list of restaurants or pubs or events. Features like Calling or Add to Contact Option and User or Critic Reviews along with location based details make the app worth a try.
However, the app can think of adding features like a deals section for rewarding app users and Times shouldn’t have much problem in integrating its own deals business. Booking movie tickets and filtering of theatres on the price factor can be some features that the app should think of adding.
Do give TimesCity a try for your next weekend and let us know what you think of it.
You can download the app on: Google Play | iOS | Blackberry 10