“What do you want to do for dinner?” That’s the dreaded daily conversation had in this household. Almost always the response is “I don’t know,” which then leads us into opting to dine out and starts a whole new round of “Where do you want to go?” We’re terribly predictable. But predictability works in our favor when it comes to the Dine-O-Matic app for iPhone and iPod Touch.
Dine-O-Matic can help take the guesswork and hemming and hawing out of where to repast. While other dining apps rely on your location to tell you where to head, this dinner spinner only offers up your favorites—as entered by you. Dine-O-Matic doesn’t have a pre-created database of restaurants. Instead, it asks the user to input places they often dine either by locating them on a map, or by manually entering in the restaurant’s information, including name, category, price, address, phone and website. Getting the app up and running will take a bit of effort on your part—I didn’t think the map search worked very well and the pins that pop-up automatically are an odd assortment, at least in my area. But, once you have your list of haunts populated, you can select your price point and spin the wheel.
I wish Dine-O-Matic offered more in-app integration or more information about each restaurant period. If you want to view a location, Maps launches. Strange, considering there is a map function included. Websites will have to be entered manually even if you have the app find the restaurant for you, and these launch Safari instead of opening in-line. The quibbles are minor, but they would enhance user experience, especially when you consider the amount of time you’ll have to put in to make Dine-O-Matic a personal success (this makes the price tag harder to swallow, too).
Because price is the only filter in this app, Dine-O-Matic is little more than a randomizer, but sometimes that’s all an indecisive person like me needs to order up.