Gowalla‘s check-in app for iPhone has just had a major update, the most prominent featuring being the ability to check-in and view check-ins from Foursquare and Facebook Places. There are a few other new features too, like a revamped user interface, spot prediction on check-in, highlights of the top picks in town, bookmarks for finding your personal favourites, and notes that you can leave for yourself or particular friends at spots.
If you’ve never tried it, Gowalla is an interesting spin on the check-in app, which is characterized by sharing your location with friends with the help of a GPS-enabled smartphone. Users create spots, usually restaurants or businesses of some kind (though Gowalla supports limited-time events too), which can then be checked-in to by others on the social network. Included within Gowalla is a kind of virtual geocaching game, where digital items are found and left at spots, as well as the option for sharing pictures of spots, leaving comments, completing series’ of check-ins called trips, and earning special pins for particular check-ins.
With this update, it seems like Gowalla is becoming more of a competitor with Loopt rather than Foursquare, namely in that they’re trying to aggregate check-ins rather than cultivate their own social network. Gowalla might not go so far as pulling in business reviews to the extent that Loopt has, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them dabble at least a little bit. It’s also great to see the likes of Foursquare, Facebook Places, and Gowalla all co-operating and integrating rather than butting heads. With that kind of spirit, it won’t really matter which app your friends prefer to use, you’ll still be able to see where they are. The question is, will users be kicking out the Foursquare app in favour of Gowalla now?
The new features in Gowalla for iPhone are great, and with any luck, we’ll see them soon in Android, webOS and BlackBerry versions shortly. Download links to all three are below.
Download Gowalla for iPhone (Free) [iTunes Link]
– Download Gowalla for BlackBerry (Free) [App World Link]
Download Gowalla for Android (Free) [Market Link]
Download Gowalla for webOS (Free) [Catalog Link]