The name Looloo may be weird but the concept behind this name is not so weird at all. But just to satisfy your curiosity, the creators of the app say that the name Looloo came from the image of a flag, which represents the purpose of the app, i.e., to discover new places and marking these places to guide others. The flag, which looked like an “L”, happened to sit beside the infinity sign, and the image created read like LOO. The word was repeated and that’s where the name came from.
Looloo as an app lets users discover cool places in Metro Manila and also connect with friends in the process. The app, which is currently exclusive to the iPhone, is a new way of exploring new places in Metro Manila under categories that include Food, Coffee and Tea, Health and Beauty, Nightlife, Travel and Arts and Entertainment. Looloo lets users search for these kinds of places nearby, those that are trending and those that are top rated.
The data used by the app come from users, and most of these users are going to be your friends or people you simply respect, so the recommendations are expected to be trustworthy. Every user can also put in a quick review of the places they visit, rating the same for other users to read. In fact, the app encourages users to post reviews, with photos of the place or the food for good measure.
So how did the app fare in actual use?
The app has a colorful yet clean UI, which I like. It treads on the colorful and playful side, which is just right for an app that encourages the discovery of new places. There are five main tabs on the main Menu found at the bottom of the screen – Feed, Explore, Review, Lists and Profile.
The Feed shows the updates of the people you follow, showing the places they’ve recently been to and the reviews they posted. The Explore tab is the most useful one since it is where you can search for nearby places and places with top ratings. It even shows trending places, places you haven’t visited, and places that are open at the time you used the app. The Explore section is complemented by a map with pins on the relevant places. The map is surprisingly fast, and so is the overall performance of the UI. The List tab shows the recommendations from friends, the list of favorites and must tries, which are actually places a user bookmarks. The Profile Tab shows the user’s reviews, badges, followers, recent activity and app score.
The Looloo app is a nice concept and it certainly has admirable goals as a discovery tool. The Explore feature of the app is its selling point more than its social aspect. Looloo’s explore section certainly shows the most interesting places in Metro Manila and the information pulled for the user are useful. However, like any other app that relies on users for data, the Loloo app is still very much at its infancy stage and requires people to join its user community in order for more data to become available. Under it’s current state, searching for friends to follow will reveal only a handful of available users in your circle despite the app’s access to Facebook and Twitter. There’s much hope for this app, though. The app is only about a month old as it became available for download only in December 2012. All things considered, the Looloo app is quite impressive, especially since it’s homegrown.
Looloo is a free app so go ahead and look for it in the App Store.