I’m not usually a fan of “Swiss army knife” apps. I don’t mean literal apps made by the Swiss Army. I mean the sort of apps that aim to be a multi-tool with a panoply of uses. More often than not, apps that try to do more than one thing well do everything poorly. It’s not always a good idea for an app to try and do too much. Now and again, however, a multi-purpose app can really get you out of a jam, and keep you from having too juggle too many apps at once. One app that is worth considering in this multifunctional category is iWant, developed by Rudrajit Samanta.
What is it and what does it do
iWant is an iPhone app that basically blends together three popular types of navigation/location finding app categories: restaurant app, movie/entertainment app, and the Yellow Pages. Think of it as Yelp meets Fandango meets AroundMe, if the App Store description is anything to go by.
- Great variety of tools to help you find everything from restaurants to shops to pharmacies to banks to bathrooms
- Takes up less space than if you were using multiple apps to get the same functionality
- Easily see the name, address, rating, and distance to any locale
- Works like a low-cost local travel guide by pulling info on local hotspots and landmarks from Wikipedia
- Adjustable search radius
- Use this app to send an “I am here” message to your friends
- Built in camera lets you look around you and get a compass/directional bearing
- Make searches by city/state, ZIP code, or even airport code!
- Annoying ads (upgrade to Pro to ditch the ads)
- Unable to move the various categories tiles around to create a custom look for your interface
One thing that is interesting is the ability to set the default “custom” navigation title to a type of business that most interests you. You could use this tile to find bookshops, law firms, or other businesses that don’t have a default navigation tile set for them.
The thing that I want most for this app is for it to react like the iPhone’s home screen. I mean, you’ve already got all these tiles…why can’t I tap and hold them to change their order, or group them together and add a tag to them? That would be the next step up, as it would allow the users to better customize their personal settings and experience.
Overall, I was impressed with how quickly, accurately, and comprehensively iWant performed. It was easy to find exactly the sorts of businesses, movie times, and location info I was craving.
Conclusion and download link
iWant is a great tool for travelers, or anyone who is constantly on the go. It is easy to find what you are looking for with just a few taps, and there is a surprising range of helpful categories that other apps just don’t have (such as Locksmiths or Laundry or even local Tweets.) This is a handy app.
Version reviewed: 2.3
Supported OS: Requires iOS 5.0 or later.
Download size: 4.6 MB
iWant  on Apple App Store