There’s a reason Pinterest has been all the rage lately: it offers a highly visual way to browse the things your friends have shared. The strong photos engage users and keep them coming back for more. A new app for iOS, Lunchbox, aims to bring that visual focus to foursquare results, making it fun to search for food.
Lunchbox is designed solely for browsing restaurants, coffee shops and nightlife as recommended by foursquare. It presents them in a style that mimics the Pinterest design. Large photos reign heavy in the grid layout, with other information from each venue, like tips, number of check-ins and address located below the photo.
Tapping a photo takes you to more information about the place, including a large map and a view of all the public photos that have been posted there on foursquare. Another tap lets you browse all the venue’s tips in a similar style.
Like foursquare’s own Explore feature, you can search for venues in a different area and set your target range by moving and zooming a map. A search function narrows down the results to just the things you’re interested in.
Once you’ve found a place you like, Lunchbox offers the ability to check in and add your own photo via foursquare.
Sadly, the results don’t appear to include foursquare’s personalized recommendations for you; only the generic recommendations are shown. Developer Peter Shih says he hopes to add the personalized results soon.
I review new foursquare apps almost every day, and I don’t recall any as engaging as Lunchbox. I found myself playing with the app, browsing photos and tips and checking out different areas for almost an hour. The focus on visuals makes the app fun to use and a great way to browse foursquare’s data.
Lunchbox is a universal app that works well on both iPhones and iPads. It’s free in the iTunes store. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments.