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Matchbook: Find, bookmark and organize your favourite places

Are you tired of broadcasting location-based “check-ins” and simply want a quick and easy solution for saving and organizing places?
A new iOS app called Matchbook aims to keep your favourite spots organized by marrying bookmarking with places. Similar to bookmarking services like Delicious, the app helps you sort your places by saving and tagging.

How it works

To set the scene: While walking by a restaurant you decide you want to save the location to your phone. With Matchbook, you can find the venue by choosing a place from a list of nearby places or by searching the place by name. Once you’ve got the venue, it can be viewed on a map and sent to a friend via SMS or bookmarked and saved for later.
When you share a place via SMS, the app will automatically check for the user within the Matchbook user base and if they’re not found, a section will be created for them. In order to send off an SMS, the person must first be added to your device’s contact list.
Let’s say this place would be ideal for a date. After bookmarking the place, you can add notes and tags like “date spot”, which will help you and other members of Matchbook easily search based on specific categories or topics.
If you’re searching for a place to go, Matchbook will assist you in discovery by allowing you to search by tagged places in your area. Unfortunately, in our current location there didn’t seem to be any activity but technically you can search by specific tags found in your neighbourhood.
The app is ready to use after downloading, however if you register with Matchbook and sign in through the app you’ll be able to utilize the browser bookmarklet, which will instantly save places to your phone. Matchbook’s bookmarklet will automatically search for places in your area by simply highlighting the venue name prior to clicking Matchbook in the browser’s bookmarks bar.

The New York-based startup MatchBook has recently launched its app exclusively in Canada. Today we spoke with Jason Schwartz, the founder of MatchBook to find out why they decided to hit Canada first.
Schwartz says that based on the fact that Canada has the highest iOS market share in the world, it seemed to them that Canada would be a “fertile place to get some solid user feedback”.
Schwartz told us they’ve talked with hundreds of people including their friends, hoping to determine what drives people to use location-based apps, specifically ones that weren’t focused on broadcasting a location. Based on their research, Schwartz said it seemed that people were uncomfortable about sharing their location and he mentioned that sharing.didn’t seem of interest to the market he was speaking with.
Another question that Matchbook asked themselves was “What is it that people are doing outside of the tech industry around location?” He shared with us that they found women outside the tech bubble “weren’t so enamoured with the idea of check-in apps” but commonly used their smartphones to save places.
Schwartz says there’s a high percentage of women in urban areas saving places on their phones. But, based on Matchbook’s findings, this was being done inefficiently, often through a text message or email. As Schwartz explained, this method isn’t effective because it’s not centralized or organized in one place. Matchbook’s app completely solves this issue.
In the future, Schwartz says the next big social feature (not included in this version) will bring users the ability to make lists of places that they can share with their friends. The feature may also be extended beyond a one-one-one share, possibly allowing users to publish a list for the entire Matchbook community. Perhaps something such as “the best clubs in Toronto”.

The Bottom Line:

All in all, Matchbook is a fantastic app for keeping your places tidy and with the ability to find venues based on tags, users are able to find saved bookmarks and new locations in seconds.
Android and Blackberry users can utilize the Matchbook bookmarklet, however there’s not currently any apps available on either platform. If the Canadian launch goes smoothly, Schwartz says Matchbook plans to roll out the app within the U.S., likely in the next 3 weeks. Canucks can grab the app for the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch for $0 in the Canadian iOS app store.


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