Nokia Lumia with Windows Phone app: Good Pub Guide 2012 review

For 30 years the Good Pub Guide has helped the UK public decide where to quaff their ale while visiting other towns, and now this Windows Phone app helps you to do that on your Nokia Lumia. Is it a hoppy delight or bottom of the barrel sludge? We take a closer look in our review.

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As we’ve already discussed this week, there’s nothing quite as quintessentially British as a pub. You can knock this nation’s food, its weather or its celebrity-obsessed culture, but you can’t deny that it has some of the finest drinking establishments in the world.

Despite hard times in the pub industry, there are still more than 50,000 pubs operating around Britain, and there are quite naturally a fair few duds among that number. This is where the Good Pub Guide app for Windows Phone comes in!

What’s offered here is access to the massive Good Pub Guide database, which is typically updated and printed in a thick tome every year. Suffice to say, it’s far easier to carry around your Nokia Lumia 800 or Nokia Lumia 710 than it is to lug around a big book.

This app’s about far more than just portability, though. While it’s true that you get all the essential information from the book – which includes 5,000 pub reviews and address details for 20,000 more – the app also plays to the format’s unique strengths.

The primary one of these is that you can search for pubs by location. The Nearby tab will show you the closest pubs to your location, as well as their position in relation to you on a little map. Tap this map and you’ll be taken to their location on Bing Maps. Tap on the More button instead and you’ll be taken to a list of Approved pubs – which means local(ish) pubs that have been positively reviewed (and in some depth) by the Good Pub Guide team.

Scroll right on this sub-menu and you’ll be shown a larger list of pubs that are Worth a visit in your location. These are pubs that have been favourably reviewed by the Good Pub Guide, but in slightly less detail. Finally there’s the Other pubs tab, which simply lists the names and locations of the other pubs in the area. We’d say enter at your own risk, but in truth we’ve spotted plenty of excellent pubs on here that simply haven’t been reviewed by the publication yet.

As well as searching for pubs in your location, you can also explore by county or – in an unexpected twist – by tube station. Perfect for a rainy day pub crawl in England’s fair capital! Add in the ability to save the best pubs you’ve visited to a Favourites list, and it’s easy to plot your way around some of the nation’s finest watering holes.

In terms of using the app, the developer has wisely adopted the Metro UI style. It’s all very clean and sharp, with an emphasis on scrolling left and right to dig through the various menus. It works exactly as you’d expect of a modern Windows Phone app.

The Good Pub Guide is far from comprehensive, and how much you get out of it will doubtless tie in with how well your area of Britain has been covered by the editorial team. However, as a digital representation of the well regarded Good Pub Guide book it does pretty much all you could ask of it – and for a relatively cheap (compared to the book itself) £2.49 on the Windows Phone Marketplace at that.

NokNok rating

Rating: 4