Local+ for Mac gives you conveniently located directories on your home computer.

As the world becomes increasingly more mobile, the days of needing a phone book to locate businesses are quickly going by the wayside. More and more options become available on a daily basis for searching and finding businesses from the palm of your hand. Now, you can do it from the comfort of your home computer as well.

Local+ for Mac is the first and only app for collecting information on businesses around you. It comes equipped with Google Maps and Google Earth for ease of use when locating local businesses and advanced search functions that looks through hundreds of thousands of places throughout the world.

When users search, the businesses that match the search appear on the map. When a user selects a specific location, users can see reviews, hours of operation, photos, the address, phone numbers, directions to the location, ratings and even visit the business’s website. The search will even allow users to search for street names and intersections.

localplus-screenshot

The interface is simple and intuitive. It’s easily understandable and users can begin searching right away. As I mentioned, you can search by business name or type. For demonstration purposes, I did a search for hair salons. As you can see from the screen shot, Local+ pulled the names of all the places within a certain radius of a location that qualified as hair salons. The list at the top of the screen is scrollable and selectable. When you select and double click a specific location, that location’s information is pulled up in the side bar.

One of the more impressive aspects of this app to me is the inclusion of the hours of operation. That is one of the things I search for most often, especially when I’m looking for restaurants. I also like the integration of Internet user reviews. When you are searching for a new place to visit, seeking out advice from other users can be most helpful.

I feel that Local+ is easy to use in general, but the Google Earth feature isn’t as intuitive as the rest of the app. There is an icon at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen that allows users to turn on the Google Earth view in the top part of the screen. Once you do, the spinning 3-D Earth appears, but there are no options for viewing locations on it.

I also like the option to change the search radius. There is a slider bar at the bottom that allows you to adjust the search radius. This option is important to our locale because our metro area is quite large and it’s not unusual for us to visit an outlying town for a meal.

I recommend this app for anyone who frequently searches for local businesses. Local+ is currently on version 1.0 and was released on March 9, 2013. It retails for $4.99, but the developer, Mach Software Design, is running a launch special of $2.99.

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