Gowalla vs. Foursquare Location App Comparison
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Location based services like Gowalla and Foursquare are all the rage right now, letting you check in to businesses, bars and restaurants. With major releases or updates to their apps on the iPhone and Android, we take a look at both and see which one reigns supreme!


Revision3. Internet Television. App Judgment. Eileen Rivera: Welcome to AppJudgment Revision3's mobile phone application review show I'm Eileen. Ron Richards: I'm Ron. Eileen Rivera: Today its Foursquare versus Gowalla. Ron Richards: Plus platform as well. Eileen Rivera: Exactly. Ron Richards: Both apps have recent major updates or releases on Android and iPhone, we use both of them we figured with all the location where talk has been going on, lets give it a shot and see how they work. Eileen Rivera: We are going to head out to office for once right now. Ron Richards: Hit the road. Eileen Rivera: So we here at the Oralia's cafe I spend a lot of time and get lunch. Ron Richards: It's a local say one shop and before we get into each app I thought we get to quickly explain what these location based application are. Gowalla and Foursquare boost applications that let you while you are out on the go out on the town, go to lunch going out on a Friday night, you know it allows you to check in at places via the app which let your friends and social networks know where you are as well as their games and other parts for checking into locations. Eileen Rivera: Foursquare has been around a lot longer, it started a year ago over south by southwest one of the advantages is that number one here are ton of people already using Foursquare and number two its really easy to use and there are lot of settings on Foursquare that allow you to turn of any privacy issues. But the bad thing is you have to go on the web to do that which kind of sucks. Ron Richards: Right exactly normally I like to have all the settings for an app in my app and on Foursquare it pushes me especially on Android I think it does on iPhone as well it pushes me back to the mobile force website which is kind of disconnected key and I kind of all want here in one application. One of the things I love about Foursquare is it let you look up menu. So when you go to new restaurant or bar or something like that, you can it gives you suggestions based on the location but if it's not in the list you can look it up and find your place to check in. Eileen Rivera: I love the sort of gimmicky mayor ship of Foursquare Ron Richards: Hey you are in mobile here. Eileen Rivera: I am mayor of Oralia, mayor ship leads to real world advantages like 10% off coffee, various venues out there who are partnered with Foursquare are offering these kinds of discounts which is awesome. Ron Richards: There is a piece of place here in San Francisco Patxi's that offers 50% off to the mayor once a week which is awesome. And the net that leads you to want to go to those places more often to become the mayor and there is great badger system where you can, you get different badges you unlock different achievements by going different places. Like for example I went out four nights in a row and I got the Bender badge, there is my bender and you know all these different things it may become unexpected fun ways to interact with the application. Ron Richards: One other con is the fact that you can kind of game in the system I'm here at Orila but I can go check into a restaurant that four blocks away Moshi Moshi. Not really that's not really cool. Ron Richards: We know, I know a lot of people who are checking on their way to a place or after they left the place. There are little ways to cheat the system especially if you are protecting you mayor ship. I know people who check in from homes to protect there mayor ship which kind of sucks. Eileen Rivera: I don't even know why people put their home on Foursquare. Ron Richards: Yeah whatever. Eileen Rivera: Whatever Ron Richards: What bugs me a lot about the application is the fact that at least on Android I don't think this is the case in the iPhone but in the Android version you can't filter you friends by city. So I have lot of friend in New York and San Francisco and Chicago I see them all checking in all the time really what I want to see when I'm on the go just the people in the city I'm in I would love to able to filter just by picking the city to see friends are in New York or San Francisco so it gets more easy for me to track them down. Eileen Rivera: Okay well the iPhone that is automatically filtered so right now at the top of my list are all the San Francisco people friends that I have and then there if you scroll that even more friends in other cities. So they are all grouped here. Ron Richards: I'm sure the Android app came out after the iPhone app, sure it will catch up sooner or later but right now that's a real lack in mine. So let's go to another one spot and check out Gowalla. Ron Richards: All right. Ron Richards: Hey we are here Kitchenette one of San Francisco's best kept secrets or lunch spots -- Eileen Rivera: It doesn't really look like a café. Ron Richards: It doesn't look like café but it got some of the best sandwiches get the meat ball sandwich if you come. But we figured here we'd take a look Gowalla. Gowalla is a -- it came out a little after Foursquare. Eileen Rivera: It did. Ron Richards: But it's got a little more, it looks prettier then Foursquare. Eileen Rivera: The UI is gorgeous I mean hands down it is better than Foursquare. Now the one thing about Gowalla is that you have to be in the location to check in. Ron Richards: It uses your phones whether it's a cell service or the GPS service to verify that you are in the location so that cheating that we thought in gaming we told about Foursquare doesn't, doesn't have in Gowalla, you got to actually be here in order for -- but my biggest complain about the Gowalla is that it takes your location and gives you list near by spots but doesn't always give you spot you are in, as far as I can tell in the Android app there is now way to search for a location. I just want it type in I know where I'm I might at Kitchenette just give it to me sometimes I came up empty. Eileen Rivera: Well you know what I do like here is that there are near by trips. Ron Richards: Yes that is cool. Eileen Rivera: They have created these trips all over the country and I think in various places like one being as well, so if you are visiting some of these areas you can just say take the North Beach in trip and they will give you a list of location you should check out and you could check in when you get there. Ron Richards: Exactly and those is trips also utilize their game system which is as opposed to four square at the badges and the mayor ship Gowalla has you have a passport and a backpack and you pick up items and you can drop items that's kind of like a little geo-catching kind of rift. Eileen Rivera: I don't get it. Ron Richards: I don't get it all either may be I'm too old and bitter but I just want to check in and that would be simple. Eileen Rivera: I really think that they should add some sort of real life kind of trade-ins and I think it happened few things like T-Shirts but not a lot. Ron Richards: I know stuff, they are doing giveaways when some people check in and things like that and Gowalla is a very early stage company they are probably doing lot of business development with local restaurants and places to do things like Foursquare has been doing. Foursquare has got a little bit of edge there so it's something to keep an eye on. Eileen Rivera: Okay so the one thing I do really like about the Gowalla and then latest update is the comment system here. Ron Richards: What comments? Eileen Rivera: I left your comment well you didn't see it. Ron Richards: I don't have comments on the Android app. Eileen Rivera: Okay it's only on the iPhone. So you can basically comment while you check in. So I was going to comment or may be I'll just say you can't read this. Ron Richards: Oh don't talk about me that's not fair. Eileen Rivera: All right well we talk about a few more things, we're going to head out. Ron Richards: I'm going to check in and get the sandwich. Eileen Rivera: Yeah me too. Ron Richards: One thing that we talking early about how Foursquare and Gowalla. Foursquare came out first and then had a little more of an edge in terms of developing strategic partnerships like they developed some entertainment networks like Bravo and some other folks to give tips and things like that and - Eileen Rivera: Exactly I actually befriended Bravo on Foursquare and learn the holes, I got a little tip for the Dogpatch Saloon and this is from Laurine Wickett who is a contestant on top chef, is a friendly local bar, jazz on Sunday's working class folks recommended to come here. We already know we like Dogpatch. But hey that's why we are here right now. Yeah very cool. Ron Richards: That's just great. One think to warn to you though, these are location based services there also social networks and so you can send friends request like I sent a friend request for Eileen, so she could see where I'm. Unlike Twitter and Facebook you want to look to see who you are giving permission to see where you are because you are actually saying I am at this place right now and there is lot of security concerns with you know jealous excess or there are some concerns of people getting robbed things like that. So this is the kind of service you want to be careful with you give that information to make sure you trust them make sure you know who they are in person. For example friend me on Twitter, Twitter.com/Ron its great I want a ton of followers, on Foursquare I only follow the people I know. Eileen Rivera: I never even checking it when I am near my house. I don't -- Ron Richards: I don't check it in my house either -- Eileen Rivera: No, no I don't really understand that. Ron Richards: Exactly so be careful just have a little word of caution there we just don't want you getting hurt or get in any sketchy situation. Eileen Rivera: I mean in fact I know a lot of people who aren't on these apps because they just don't trust the privacy settings, no matter what, no matter what Foursquare says they even where a whole blog about their privacy settings and how secure they are. But some people don't trust it. Ron Richards: But with Twitter adding location base, location base tweets and this is the future with these, we are carrying these phones around location-based services are the way to go for reasons like this with applications like this. I think they are really cool I do think they are the future. So as long you are responsible you got lot of fun of it. Eileen Rivera: All right so who wins. Ron Richards: I can go Foursquare, I like the app better my friends are on it, the interface works better I don't care about the Gowalla game I'm a foursquare guy. Eileen Rivera: I have to say the same things and to Gowalla ups and adds more features and real world applications and in fact I did a quick Twitter survey of my friends and they all said Foursquare or didn't use it all. Ron Richards: Gowalla is pretty it's got the dozen whistles and its got the new icons better than that it doesn't give you much more. Eileen Rivera: Both are free in our app stores I will say go head and try both download both. But I think the winner right now is Foursquare. Ron Richards: So download Foursquare download this app check it out, download Gowalla too check it out. Eileen Rivera: Let us know what you think, email us at appjudgment@revision3.com. You can also follow us on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and on our home page hit subscribe or revision3.com/appjudgment. I think that's it Foursquare good job guys. Ron Richards: All right, I'm going checking out the Dogpatch. Eileen Rivera: Oh yeah me too. See more great shows at revision3.com.