Looking for a nice nearby place to get a cup of coffee? Searching for the best Italian restaurant in your vicinity? Why look yourself when your trusty virtual butler Alfred can do it for you. Initially available only on the iTunes App Store, Alfred has just made its way to the Android Market. All Alfred requires to start suggesting places fit for you is an answer to a handful of questions. This awesome little app is not about getting general recommendations for good eating places around your location, but a comprehensive restaurant search engine molded to your preferences.
As mentioned earlier, Alfred first needs to learn of your personal tastes and preferences in terms of eating and drinking habits. This is done within the Teach section of the app that presents you with various location-based questions. It could be about your place of preference for Sunday brunches, favorite place to hangout with friends on the weekend or anything that can help Alfred better judge your likes and dislikes. Needless to say; the more you teach Alfred, the more helpful he gets with his recommendations.
Answers can be supplemented by picking a desired location or specifying an amenity located in that place. After each successful Q&A session, Alfred displays his knowledge levels in terms of percentage. You may be required to take several sessions in order to beef up Alfred’s learning levels.
Once the teaching part is done, there’s nothing much more you have to do. Each time you feel that your hunger is getting the better of you, just launch the app, tap Ideas, specify your location and pick a meal/drink category of your liking (Breakfast, Dinner, Coffee, Lunch etc). Alternatively, you can hit the search icon in the top-right corner of the homescreen and specify your exact criteria, filtered by cuisine and serving type, location, price range, the facility’s distance from you and much more.
For each suggested place, the app lets you view it’s exact location on the map, gives you directions to it and displays its menu, meal timings, famous dishes, photo gallery, contact details and much more. Apart from bookmarking each location, you can also get recommendations from other users who visited that place. While navigating on map, you can use the left/right arrow keys to jump to other nearby amenities and explore their details. That’s not all; based on your provided answers, Alfred also displays a percentage along with each search result, indicating how much you would like that particular place.
The profile button on the app’s homescreen keeps a tab of all the places that you’ve recently checked, like/disliked or added to bookmarks. You can also associate the app with your Facebook account and check Alfred’s smartness (percentage of your profile’s completion) from the same screen.
Note: The app currently suggests places within US only. However, support for worldwide locations seems a prospect not too far away from reality.