Computerized Investing > November 16, 2013
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Restaurant reservation app for the iPad

OpenTable is a free online restaurant service that has been around for several years. With the service you can book restaurant reservations on the web and, with a registered account, accumulate points that you can redeem for "dining checks," which take money off your bill at OpenTable restaurants. The company has also mobile apps for a number of platforms, including Android, iOS, and Windows phone. The iPad app has recently been redesigned for iOS 7.

You do not have to register with OpenTable to book reservations, however you are missing out on the opportunity to accrue points that you can redeem for dining checks. Registration is straightforward—your email address serves as your login name and then you set up a password. You do not have to enter in any credit card information, as the service is free. Alternatively, you can log into OpenTable using your Facebook account.

After you download the OpenTable iPad app, you can sign in to see your point balance, upcoming and most recent reservations, and a list of your favorite OpenTable restaurants. Each time you book a reservation—and actually show up—you generally receive 100 points (some restaurants offer up to 1,000 points for a reservation). Once you collect 2,000 points you receive a $20 dining check that you can redeem at any Open Table restaurant; you can also receive $50 (5,000 points) and $100 (10,000 points) dining checks. You will also need to enable the app's location services in order for it to identify the restaurants in your area.

The app gives you a number of filtering options to find a restaurant, including distance, price, special offers and neighborhood(s). Once you have entered in your search preferences you can then sort the results by distance, alphabetical order and restaurant rating. There is also a map view to show the restaurants that are in proximity to your location.

The app provides information on individual restaurants, including menu, pricing and reviews. The Info section provides the address, which you can then open in Apple Maps to plot directions. You can also see the hours the restaurant is open, a description of the restaurant and parking information.

The app's usefulness is dictated by where you are located. However, if you live in a metropolitan area and dine out frequently, the OpenTable app is a quick and easy way to book reservations while accumulating points for money off your bill.

OpenTable for iPad



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