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Video Check In With Clingle

Posted by Jennifer Allen on November 15th, 2011

We've all seen countless check in type apps like FourSquare and Facebook's built in functionality but that doesn't stop developers devising new ways of adding extra features to such a simple concept. This is precisely what's happened with Clingle.

Clingle offers all the check in functionality anyone would expect but on top of that, it offers the ability to take photos, add video footage and even discover great deals and discounts in the local area. Users can leave surprise messages for friends to receive when they reach the relevant position. The chance to earn real life goodies in the form of the Clingle store is also available soon for those in India and USA.

While some of it might sound a lot like Foursquare, it's the interactivity such as adding video and iTunes audio that makes all the difference. Who can resist leaving a video message for friends, after all?

Give Clingle a shot today. It's free for all iOS devices.

Break The Ice With Check In App Locai

Posted by Jennifer Allen on August 3rd, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Ahh Check-In Social Networking apps. There are a lot of them aren't there? All vying for users and their precious time to actually check in wherever they go. There's another one on the horizon now aiming to provide something even more useful than before. It's called Locai and it's just reached its 2.0 release having just added Twitter integration and custom checkin messages.

Essentially it's an app that hopes to make checking in more sociable. It aims to let conversations develop around check-in locations thus enabling people to get to know each other through the app and their common interest of the location they're at. That is providing they're already following them via Twitter, Facebook or the app itself. Users can also ask questions and post images, not just enter text. Conversation discovery allowing people to get to know each other by finding nearby conversations is also set to be added soon.

It's an interesting idea and one that I suspect will work quite well at large conventions. I know I've been to a few gaming events and found myself unsure if I know someone or not thanks to only ever following them on Twitter. Something like Locai would be a great way of breaking the ice.

Locai is out now and is a free app. Give it a try and see if it can usurp the almighty Foursquare.

Sonar Helps Users Network Locally

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on July 26th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT :: Read Review »

Remember that? Walking into a party or business meeting and not knowing ANYONE? Having to put out our hand, offer the dreaded eye contact, and (gasp) learn other people's names? Sounds barbaric, to be honest.

But what about all that six degrees of separation stuff? It's fairly probably that we all have some connections within any sufficiently large number of gathered people, especially in our hometowns, right?

Sonar - Mobile Profile for Local Social Networking promises to bring the power of online social networking to the local space, thereby allowing us all to bury further into our handsets and avoid unkown humans at all costs.

The developer claims to have included Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare into their new app release, allowing it to use publicly available profile information to help us find the connections we might share with folks nearby us. So, if users want to figure out what that girl across the bar is thinking about, or what she does for work, they can use Sonar to look through the public information she's already shared online. it's the prefect innocuous stalking tool! What about letting the room know how big a Kanye fan they are? Or that they need an iPhone developer for a huge new funded project? You can do all that and more with Sonar, according to the developers.

Taking things one step further, the devs happily point out that

Sonar is perfect for:
- Networkers
- Entrepreneurs
- Freelancers
- Event Organizers
- Early Adopters
- Puppies
- Tech and Social Media Enthusiasts
- Anyone that loves “small world” moments

Puppies?! Who doesn't love puppies? All kidding aside, this seems like a fairly interesting way to connect with folks you happen to be standing near, without having to go through the typical pleasantries associated with real life networking, or at least enrich the experience; being able to start a conversation on a subject your target individual is already interested in is a great way to build that next power team relationship, right?


Creators of IM+ Take Checking In To The Next Level

Posted by Blake Grundman on July 12th, 2011

Anyone who is a fan of instant messaging on the go from their iOS device of choice is most likely familiar with the SHAPE Services development team and their tool IM+.  What their original application did to help revolutionize the way that we chat on the road, their new app Checkin+ hopes to do for the worlds of FourSquare and Facebook.

While I was never one for alerting the entire world of my whereabouts at any given second in time, there has been a budding industry around the social networking concept of "checking in."  The problem was that Foursquare's existing iOS application has left so much to be desired in the areas of personal mapping.  This is where Checkin+ comes into play.

Combining the social networking world with augmented reality applications, though odd when described simply in words, actually makes for an interesting concept.  Check out the trailer below and see if you feel the same way!

Social Networking For Nightclub Goers With ClubSeen

Posted by Jennifer Allen on May 27th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

What do you get if you combine a FourSquare mentality with nightclub promotional material? ClubSeen, and it could well be a fantastic tool for regular club goers.

The app offers a wealth of features aimed at those looking for a fun night out. GPS functionality ensures that users can always find a nightclub near them. They can then browse weekly updates of various Nightclub events to see what takes their interest.

A Check In system is available so that users can check out who else is at the same club as them - potentially the perfect icebreaker to meet new friends. Users can also post comments and photos, as well as rate their night out the following morning.

Participating clubs are also able to provide prizes for those who interact the most which sounds like a great idea for all involved.

Nightclub owners are also able to check out things like how many visitors they've attracted, making it the ideal marketing tool.

ClubSeen is available now for all iOS devices and it's a free app.

MeMap: Trying To Solve The Quandary of Differing Geolocation Services

Posted by Carter Dotson on March 24th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

The problem with many communication on the internet often is decentralization. There are two ways to achieve centralization - either form a protocol that is great for universal usage, like email, or be the most popular service; Just ask Diaspora and Laconica what they think of their popularity compared to Facebook and Twitter, for example. Currently, location services seem to be extremely fragmented - you not only have services like Foursquare and Gowalla, but Facebook also offers their own service, Facebook Places, for sharing your location and checking in to places. So, a lot of this data is often spread out to a vareity of places, and a lot of the interesting data doesn't get to the eyeballs of people that it would be useful for. How exactly do you solve a problem like this? MeMap has an idea.

MeMap is an iOS app that is designed to try and connect all these people and services together, in a way. See, MeMap integrates with Facebook Places, considering that Facebook is one of the most used services on the internet, so you have a massive userbase there, and it will be valuable to a good number of users. When you load up the app and connect your Facebook account, you will get an interactive map that shows any geolocation data from your Facebook friends. Now, here's where the connection of disparate networks comes in - if data is shared from a service like Foursquare, Gowalla, or Loopt, it is pinned to your MeMap map.

Now, there's obviously the thought that it actually isn't integrating those other services, but this may be to the advantage of the service - it's just far easier to support just a Facebook login, and doesn't complicate the user experience. The ultimate idea behind MeMap, as according to the founder of MeMap, Matt Farnell, is to make something similar to Twitter, where it's easy to just follow what your friends are doing. “We draw an analogy between our concept in the location sharing space, and the way that people have evolved to use Twitter. The current location sharing networks would be like limiting Twitter to the content creators, excluding anyone preferring to simply follow.” After all, that is the interesting thing about Twitter, and about geolocation services - it's about targeting messages and sharing what you want to share to people who are interested in it. Twitter has made it easy, and MeMap is hoping to step into that space. Their app is available on the App Store right now for free.

Localscope Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Kyle Flanigan on March 8th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: ESSENTIAL
Localscope crosses social networking with global positioning, creating an application that provides useful information about nearby surroundings or specific places.
Read The Full Review »

NBA Letting Fans Check In with Turnstile App

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on October 20th, 2010

In an attempt to cash in on the "check in" craze created by Foursquare and its ilk, the NBA has announced Turnstile, a new app which will allow fans to alert their friends when they're attending a game in person or watching on television. Those who consistently check in may be eligible to receive discounts or loyalty rewards at local venues.

“We see location based services as just the tip of the iceberg,” says Bryan Perez, senior vice president and general manager of NBA Digital. “The more we can integrate people’s location information at games, the more opportunities there are for things like sponsorships,” he says, adding there are no sponsorships for Turnstile in place currently.

The move places the NBA in line with MLB, the NHL and some NFL teams who are all using some sort of social media check in platform to increase fan engagement and interaction. While most of these other leagues are utilizing Foursquare for their social media, Turnstile is being built from the ground-up exclusively for the NBA.

The app is planned to launch in concert with the start of the NBA regular season later this month and will be available for free on the iPhone, Blackberry and Android. Just keep in mind that if your Cleveland friends see you checking into a Miami Heat game you may well find your house vandalized or on fire when you return home.

[via The Wall Street Journal]

Securely Share Locations with BePut

Posted by Blake Grundman on October 5th, 2010

With the recent hybridization of social networking and location sharing applications such as FourSquare and Facebook, it has become increasingly common to share your whereabouts with the entire world at all times.  The problem is, this can also prove to be a double edged sword, because not only are you sharing where you are, but this also points out where you are NOT.

For example, if I were a web-connected criminal of the 21st century (though I am not, rest assured), I might view a FourSquare check-in from the secluded island resort where you are vacationing as a "please burgle my house" notification.  This is the exact reason why I have not taken part in these social networking experiments.  If big brother is already looking at you, why make it easier, right?

At the risk of sounding like a paranoid mess, I can see the merits of the aforementioned FourSquare and Facebook tools -- the problem is that there is no control over who you are sending the notifications to.  This is where a brilliant new app BePut from Grip'd steps in.  The developer best sums up the application's functionality this way:
"Send driving directions of your exact location to whomever you want. Whether you want to invite your friends to a secret party or tell your client where to meet, Be Put works. Recipients receive a secure and unique “FindMe” key that is required for getting directions...

...Best of all, if you send your location to a friend who doesn’t have the app, they can still get directions with no hassle." -- VIA Be Put Development Blog

I can only imagine that this would be the dream of poor navigators like myself.  No longer am I limited to following the crummy directions of my friends, because with a click of the button I can get a location and turn by turn walk-through at a moment's notice.  Better yet, you don't have to be sharing this information with the entire world in the process.  So if you really love your navigationally challenged friends, go out and get this app now.  I, erm, I mean THEY will all thank you for it later.


Location-based iPhone Games Growing In Popularity. MyTown Creator Completes $20m Round Of Financing

Posted by Ben Harvell on May 18th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SOUL SUCKING :: Read Review »

It’s hard to avoid the daily (sometimes hourly) Twitter updates and Facebook posts informing you that a friend has “checked-in” at Starbucks. Apps and services like Foursquare and Gowalla have taken the mobile market by storm with millions of downloads and as many users sharing their locations in order to earn points and become the virtual “mayor” of a specific spot.

If you’ve never used such a service, it’s easy enough to disregard these ventures as pointless playthings for those with too much time on their hands. However, this appears not to be the case if news from Booyah Inc. is true across the location-based mobile app market. The company has recently closed a $20 million round of financing which sees prominent investor, Jim Breyer, join its Board of Directors.

Booyah is the creator of MyTown, a popular location-based social game where users “virtually” buy their favorite stores and locations. As they do so they earn points, charge rent on owned locations, unlock rewards and earn cash to be spent in real locations. The New York Times said “MyTown Turns the Real World into Monopoly” however it appears that the money to be made by developers in this market is very, very real. MyTown is currently played by over 2 million users and is growing at a rate of 100,000 new users week over week, according to a Booyah Inc. press release. MyTown has also passed 60 million check-ins and 250 million virtual item impressions per month with users spending an average of 70 minutes using the app each day. What DO these people do for a living?

This latest injection of funds is to be spent on igniting and accelerating the company’s “real and digital world offerings” which doesn’t offer much insight. However, with Jim Breyer, the Director of Wal-Mart Stores and Dell on board, we’re willing to bet some significant retail-based features are soon to be available for MyTown players. Breyer is also on the board of companies including Brightcove, Facebook, Etsy and Marvel Entertainment.

“Booyah is at the epicenter of the fastest growing markets today--mobile, social, and interactive gaming,” said Breyer. “Not only are they a next-generation entertainment company, but they are bridging the gap between consumers and businesses. The Booyah management team has both the passion and talent to innovate and create a wholly unique experience.”

If you’re yet to try out MyTown for yourself, it seems like now might be the time to get involved. The app is available for free on the App Store with a number of In App Purchases available.