• Gowalla & Foursquare: LBS smackdown [Apps]

    Date: 2010.03.31 | Posted by | Category: Gadgets & Mobile | Response: 0

    Everybody loves doing something else while doing something boring. At least I do. Lately, this is where Location Based Services (LBS) are filling my void. My current loves are Gowalla and Foursquare.

    Both of these services allow you to travel around town, and using your GPS you can ‘check in’ where ever you are. I honestly can not figure out why it’s so cool, since nobody actually is looking up where I am, but it’s fun to think that somebody can.

    What intrigues me is that it’s been made into a game in a few different ways. For instance, checking in at the mall, then the coffee place, then at work; I will get 3 points for having 3 check-ins plus a bonus if it is the first time checking in to that location. You can also get ‘badges’ for accomplishing various tasks or at random. They don’t do anything, but you can show them off to your friends.

    An added feature is ‘mayorships’. If you’ve checked into a certain place more than anybody else, you become the mayor. In this sense, when somebody else checks in to that place, they see that you’re the mayor. You can also see how many people have been at each place, and who is there now.

    What is putting Gowalla above Foursquare in my mind right now is graphics and items. Foursquare is mainly text, where as Gowalla has nice pictures beside it and actually requires you to be within range of the location to check in. Once checked in on Gowalla, you can also pick up items (if there are anythere) or drop an item. When you take one, you need to drop one. The next person that checks in, can then choose to take your dropped item if they want. It’s a fun way to feel connected to those who you don’t know, as it shows the history of an item when you look at it.

    I would love to see these become more popular, and it seems to be here in Kingston. I’d love to see 3 of my coworkers checked in at work, to feel connected in suffering. I’m just waiting for a beta invite to Check.In, where I can check-in on both applications at the same time.

    Gowalla is available on Android, iPhone, Palm OS (I’m shocked too) and mobile site for those out of the loops.
    Foursquare is available for Android, Iphone and blackberry.

    Do you use LBS? If so, what ones do you like using, or why not?