There's a new third-party iOS 8 keyboard available that combines emojis with Yelp-style recommendations. It's called Goji.
When installed on your iPhone, Goji can help you find and share new things to do without having to open another app or even look anything up. It basically offers 48 emojis, which are actually called gojis, for things like coffee or pizza. And each goji is connected to a list of three related places nearby. A sushi goji, for instance, displays on your keyboard three nearby sushi restaurants.
Once you tap a goji, it sends your friend a link to the place you've selected. This is particularly useful in situations like when a boyfriend or girlfriend asks where you'd like to meet for dinner. Simply pull up Goji to streamline the decision-making process. Goji works with apps like Messages, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter - and anywhere else you want to type on your iPhone. And it doesn't require you to make an account.
According to The Verge, Josh Williams - founder of Facebook-acquired, check-in service Gowalla - left Facebook last year and has been working on Goji ever since under his new startup called The Last Guide Company. Williams' venture hopes to build mobile products that will tell you what's good for the right moment, without complicating things by offering too many recommendations.
"We want to reduce the paradox of choice," said Williams during an interview, while also noting that Goji uses expert-picked recommendations instead of user-data recommendations used by services like Foursquare and Yelp. "For me, finding places or things to do has always leaned heavily on recommendations from people that I really trust, or just context in general."
Goji currently only works in the following cities: Los Angeles, New York City, Portland, and San Francisco Bay Area. But The Last Guide Company has promised that support for more cities is launching soon.
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