Gowalla checks in to Windows Phone

Gowalla, the location-based social check-in app that has laden iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and webOS users with many a sticker, has just slid onto Windows Phone. All of the usual features are there, like checking where your friends have been lately, find spots close to you, and discover the best of the best in town thanks to highlight spots nominated by the community at large. Exclusive to Windows Phone is the ability to browse nearby pictures, which, as you’d expect, are shown on Bing maps.

Gowalla is at its core an app that lets you share where you are and what you’re doing, but it differs in a few ways from similar apps. For one, there’s no real “mayorships”, where you can claim to be the king of some particular spot. Instead, every spot houses virtual items that you can swap with one of your own in a kind of mobile geocaching game. Like other networks, Gowalla offers pins as rewards for completing certain strings of check-ins, but they also have signature stickers for simply checking in to particular landmarks, which are added to your collection (or Passport).

For me, Gowalla has been playing second-fiddle to Foursquare lately, namely because the BlackBerry version of Foursquare recently added some new scoring mechanisms and the ability to attach photos, but Gowalla still has a very unique style to it. The problem is, most people can only be bothered to manage one location-based social network, and since Foursquare was pioneer in the app genre, it tends to get first dibs.

Anyhoo, you Windows Phone people out there can snag Gowalla in the Marketplace.


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