If you’re a Gowalla fan, this is going to win your heart. If you’re not a Gowalla fan, you might just become one. The check-in cum discovery service has just upgraded its Android version and you can really tell that the team has spent some time making the app right.
First off, you have to know whether you’d use it. If you’re like me, you don’t use location services because there’s just no payoff. The difference with Gowalla is that it’s all about recommendations. Gowalla is doing what Google hopes to do, in providing you ideas about where you might want to go, based on where you are right now. In talking to the Gowalla team, I was told a pretty surprising thing:
If all we’re doing is allowing a check-in, then we’ve really fallen short of our goal. We want a location-aware “Lonely Planet“, created by your friends. Gowalla is way less about checking in and more about contextual discovery.
While this is still limited to insight from your Gowalla network, at the moment, the team tells me that “local rewards” are coming soon. You’ll start seeing more value to your check-ins by being offered coupons or deals for places that are close to you. The program will start with a launch in Gowalla’s home of Austin, Texas, with plans to move outward soon.
So, how does it look? Here’s a brief video for you. Oh, and if you can tell me how in the heck to add a Spot to Gowalla, I’ll forever be in your debt…