BrightKite is a service that's not showing off its stuff at the Web 2.0 Expo but getting a lot of buzz from some other bloggers here. It's a microblogging tool the likes of Twitter, Pownce, et al with some handy location-based features. What's the point you ask? It's got a whole lot more social networking built-in from the start. It also shares one of the things that made Meetro and Twinkle so cool, by letting you see what people around you are doing.
Got a jailbroken iPhone? Then you've got to download a fantastic app called Twinkle that's doing some amazing things to make Twitter even more useful for people while they're out and about. Besides being a delightfully simple Twitter client (see also: ThinCloud and Hahlo), Twilight's killer app is its location tool, which taps into the LocateMe feature introduced in iPhone firmware version 1.1.3. Using this, it can narrow down not only where you are (to be included in your Tweets), but it also lets you see who's around you anywhere from 1 to … Read more
To clear a little confusion, BuddyFinder and LiveContacts are two sort-of related names for the app, which is itself the free branch of the better-known FindWhere, a Dutch company with a much more useful, robust service--tracking people down (kids, an elderly parent, a wayward spouse) through their devices. FindWhere includes lost phone recovery, emergency alerts, and notification services if the device goes outside your specified bounds.
Of course, the free BuddyFinder doesn't do all that. Instead, it installs an … Read more
Friend-finding cell phone service Loopt is now available on some Verizon Wireless phones.
Loopt is a service that uses GPS (Global Positioning System) chips in phones to pinpoint a subscriber's location; then users can broadcast that location information to friends or family, who can track them on a tiny map. Subscribers can sign up for alerts to find out when other Loopt friends are near. They're also able to tag photos and send them to friends with location information attached.
The company has been offering the service on some Sprint and Boost Mobile phones for more than a … Read more
There's a reason why no mobile social-networking company has broken out yet. They haven't found themselves--on a map, that is.
Mobile networking, at least in the U.S., remains a limited extension of the social-media industry's biggest PC-based players: lighter, messaging-focused versions of Facebook and MySpace.com, as well as instant-messaging software like Yahoo Messenger and AIM. Social-networking start-ups with a major or exclusive focus on mobile use, like Twitter, have failed to amass a following outside the alpha-geek crowd. For mobile social networking to really take off, it's going to have to move beyond providing … Read more
Privacy--who needs it? The creators of WeFi don't seem to think much of it, although that might not be a bad thing
Today the company, which offers up a pretty svelte little replacement for Windows' clunky Wi-Fi manager, is launching two new items: a mobile application for Windows Mobile users (which could soon be SideKick users too), along with a Facebook application to help users track people using the service. Oddly enough, in all its news release bravado the company failed to offer up a link to said Facebook application, and it's not in the directory--so I can'… Read more
Tripit, which I mentioned in an earlier post about Planjam, is a do-it-all travel service that helps people organize their travel plans (flight numbers, car rental info, accommodations, etc.) in one central location that can be updated and accessed on the go. Today they're launching a new feature called "closeness" alerts.
Much like Dopplr, which we peeked at last month, the whole idea behind the alerts is to let you know when your buddies (Tripit calls them "colleagues") will be in town or traveling in or around the same place at the same time. The … Read more
Whereboutz is a new service powered by TeleNav that lets you announce your location for others to see, while mapping it to a geographical location. The service has two ways in the door, both as a Java app for phones that can run J2ME, as well as a Facebook application that accomplishes a similar feat without any sort of installation. Once linked up to your Facebook account, the mobile app will show you any of your friends' status updates on a map, as long as they're posting through Whereboutz (regular old status messages need not apply). You can also … Read more
Typing your starting point on a typical cell phone search tool can get tedious, even if you've got a high-end device with a QWERTY keyboard. A GPS-enabled cell phone can wipe those tears away, but since about 85 percent of handsets do not have GPS, most users are out of luck.
Google Maps for Mobile with My Location draws enough information from local cell phone towers to figure out where you are and then uses that information to launch a search. The idea is it saves you search time and manual effort. How well does it work? Get a … Read more
Loopt, which offers a mobile friend-finding service, has extended the reach of its application with a new feature that allows users to notify not just other Loopt users, but any friend, of their whereabouts via text or IM.
Starting Thursday, the Loopt service is integrated with subscribers' mobile address books and AIM buddy lists so they can share their real-time location via a text message or instant message.
The way it works is that when Loopt users text or IM their friends they can choose to have their location automatically attached. So a message that says, "Want to meet … Read more