Pizza Hut iPhone app
Lay Doughie the pizza boy to rest with Pizza Hut's iPhone app
No longer content to play second fiddle to Domino's Pizza, Pizza Hut has followed in the footsteps of its biggest Australian competitor by launching an iPhone app down under. The Pizza Hut iPhone app is convenient and the 30 per cent discount is a great advantage, but it's a little sluggish compared to Domino's offering.
- 30 per cent discount on all orders; uses location services to find stores; augmented reality store finder; saved favourite orders
- A little sluggish at times; can't create your own pizza; no extra sauce, cheese or half-half options; log-in doesn't save, Hut Racer game is terrible
Pizza Hut's iPhone app is a handy way to order a quick meal and the fact that it uses the iPhone's location services is a nice benefit, as is the 30 per cent discount. It's a little slow, though, and that game is terrible.
The Pizza Hut iPhone app's main purpose is, you guessed it, to let you order pizzas. The ability to browse the full menu is a distinct advantage that the iPhone app holds over traditional phone orders. Any orders placed with the iPhone app also come with a 30 per cent discount on the regular menu price — a trade-off for the app not accepting Pizza Hut discount coupons.
The Pizza Hut iPhone app allows you to order pick-up or home delivery and, unlike the Domino's app, it can use the iPhone's location services to do so. Users can quickly find the nearest Pizza Hut store using GPS by pressing the "use current location" button, which presents you with a list of the closest stores.
The app also includes what Pizza Hut has called the "GPS Store Finder." This is an augmented reality function that allows iPhone 3GS users to find the nearest Pizza Hut using GPS and the camera. You simply point the iPhone in front of you as if you’re taking a photo and the screen shows small tabs highlighting the direction and distance of nearby Pizza Hut locations. It's definitely a cool, wow-factor feature, but doesn't provide any extra functionality over the regular list method.
The Pizza Hut iPhone app is fairly straightforward to use and the menu allows you to use Apple's swipe gestures to scroll through available pizzas, pastas, drinks and extras like ice creams and deserts. It’s a little sluggish to load though, and we were often left feeling like Pizza Hut sacrificed speed for eye candy.
You can choose the kind of pizza, including its size and type of base, but you can't add or remove any toppings, and the app doesn't support extra sauce or half cheese options. There is also no specials menu for limited time only pizzas or other items on the menu. Strangely, you can only view the food menu in landscape mode, and the rest of the app in portrait mode — the iPhone's accelerometer is not used to automatically rotate the display when you tilt the phone.
Once you've placed an order, there is no way for the Pizza Hut iPhone app to track its progress, but you can save any order as an "iFave" for quick access the next time you order. The app requires an e-mail and password log-in, and annoyingly doesn’t save your log-in details when you exit. This means you have to enter them each time you open the app. If you're in the middle of an order and close the app, you'll also lose your order.
The Pizza Hut iPhone app also includes a game called Hut Racer, a basic car racing game where you use the iPhone's accelerometer to avoid crashing into huge pizza and pasta obstacles on the road. If it sounds bad, that's because it is — we're not sure why Pizza Hut even bothered, but we can definitely say it's one of the worst iPhone games we've ever played. Puzzlingly, once you hit start, the only way to end the game is to press the home button and quit the app entirely.
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