March 7, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Gowalla CEO Josh Williams calls this “the best app ever created for Android,” but that’s just eager hype. Gowalla is just like the dozen other “check-in” apps used on Android phones. Users discover places to visit, see where their friends – or a lively place full of strangers – congregate, and let contacts know that they have arrived.
What makes Gowalla interesting is that acts a limited aggregate for your check-in apps. Not only can you connect with Gowalla friends, you also see activity from Facebook Places and Foursquare on one screen. So if you have some friends who only use Foursquare and others who only use Places, Gowalla acts as the dashboard for viewing everyone’s location. Sadly, there’s no interaction with these listings as you can only see where your friends have checked in, not comment or get directions. You can however send data out and share Gowalla check-ins to Facebook, Foursquare, Tumblr, or Twitter. It’s not the catch-all solution that you may have liked, but it is a useful way of connecting with others.
The makeover applied in version 3.0 is actually a very welcome transition. The previous version of the app was good but I sometimes felt it was buggy and slow. This version looks more focused, runs smoother, and provides quicker access to features. The home page shows quick access to Check-In, see Friends activity, browse Spots (Nearby, Featured, Bookmarks), and browse trips. With the exception of repeated force close errors when trying to add friends through Contacts, the app runs very efficiently.
Gowalla debuted for Android phones just in time for South By Southwest 2010. With SxSW 2011 days away, it makes sense that the company would release Gowalla 3.0 for Android today. It’s good to see that company has improved the app for the thousands of people traveling to the Lone Star State and the millions of Android users elsewhere who want a good check-in app. Android 1.6 or higher is required to use Gowalla.
- See Gowalla, Facebook Places, and Foursquare check-ins
- Share to Facebook, Foursquare, Tumblr, Twitter
- See interesting locations with highlights and photos
- Check-in notifications (Android 2.2+ only)
- Bookmark your favorite locations for easy revisiting