How many check-in applications do we really need? Not that many, if any! But at least Gowalla takes the next logical step: starting today, iPhone users can check-in across platforms through this single app, and they can also see where their friends are at, even if they aren’t using Gowalla.
The new Gowalla 3.0 for iPhone launches today and introduces a few interesting features. Their new Notes capability, for example, allows you to leave and receive tips from friends once you check-in somewhere. You may even choose who gets to see each Note. This definitely adds value to the sometimes tedious and pointless experience of using a location-based app in the first place.
But what brings us here is their new Universal Activity Feed. If your friends aren’t Gowalla users and prefer Facebook Places or FourSquare instead, from now on you can get that information pushed into your Gowalla feed. Most importantly, you will be able to check-in through all those platforms (including Twitter and Tumblr) just with the push of a Gowalla-button. In other words, this is the first location-based app that does away with “platform protectionism” and focuses on what the user ultimately wants: to be able to push and receive this kind of info to and from all their friends, no matter what each person is using.
In the next six to twelve months these new features should also roll out to Gowalla users across Droids, iPads, Blackberry, and Palm smartphones.
How has Gowalla been working for you guys? It’s a bit more complicated than FB Places, and you certainly cannot earn the “honor” of becoming the mayor of a certain place like in FourSquare (they do give away rewards, though). At the same time, it seems more functional and interactive. Thoughts?