Android App Review: Aloqa
It's fine to have different apps to find a restaurant or a movie in the neighborhood - but wouldn't it be nice if one app did all of this and more? That's the good idea behind Aloqa—but does it work?
Aloqa features different channels, each of which could be an app in its own right: you can look up restaurant reviews on the Yelp channel, find java on the Coffee channel, Fast Food, Shopping, Movies, ATMs, Real Estate, even local churches. But the app is only as good as its database, and at least in the Washington, DC area from where I'm reporting, there are major gaps in coverage.
I see lots of movies, so that's the first thing I tried. The results were surprising. At 5:30 p.m. Thursday evening, the Movies channel listed what appeared to be all the movies playing that night. I was startled to see that Aloqa found Michael Snow's experimental film "Wavelength," playing at the Hirshhorn Museum at 8. It's the kind of non-mainstream fare I look for. But mainstream movies were less thoroughly covered. Found: screening of Roman Polanski's thriller The Ghost Writer at the Regal Ballston at 9:45. Not found: 6:45 and 9:25 screenings at the Landmark E Street, five miles closer to my location. In fact, Aloqa doesn't index the Landmark chain at all. This is a serious omission in an app that hopes to be the one stop for all your entertainment needs, and until this is fixed, I can't recommend it.
The Yelp channel is more useful, listing restaurants near your location. It works much like the Yelp app, but without the thumbnail images, or, apparently, the ability to filter. But the data is there. To try Aloqa, use ScanLife or another QR reader with this code: