Brightkite: is a location-based social networking website that is available on any mobile device. Users "check in" at places by using text messaging or one of the mobile applications and they can see who is nearby and who has been there before. The service was created in 2007 by Brady Becker, Martin May and Alan Seideman who previously founded the SMS notification service Loopnote.
Pro's: Nice interface and it good social features. Group text is intriguing.
Con's: Less 'game play' then I've come to expect. Feels like it needs a lot more to stay competitive.
Friends Around: Friends Around is a mobile app for interacting with friends 24/7 across social networks without being tied to a computer. It’s a free iPhone app developed by Zila Networks LLC, a Miami based start-up.
Pro's: A lot of rating based feedback from uploaded photos.
Con's: Cumbersome to add new people and just not that much fun yet. I relies that the mapping function [should] be cool but it's too early for engagement. This app too needs to get more feature rich to compete I'm affraid.
Side Note: I did see a lot of late teen - early twenties male demo on this at an NFL game I checked into this weekend. I'm not sure what, if anything that means.
Waze: Waze is a social mobile application providing free turn-by-turn navigation based on the live conditions of the road.
100% powered by users, the more you drive, the better it gets.
Pro's: This is a turn-by-turn GPS application yes, it's also a bit of social gaming. What I LIKE about Waze is it combines the intelligence of Trapster and adds a dash of game play. You unlock points and seniority by the amount of mileage you drive while using it, that's a bit of a pro and con to me.
Con's: There's a lot going on. They could invest in some UI testinging as well. Also, rule number one with wayfinding, name it what everyone else names it. Don't call "Directions" "Drive To" call it directions and everyone (mainly me) will be happy.
Whrrl: Whrrl 3.0 is a social location-based game to get people out into the world trying new things. Users become members of "Whrrl Societies" based on their real-world passions. As of August 2010, there were more than 3,000 Whrrl Societies. Whrrlers earn "influence points" as they try new things themselves and successfully inspire others to try things, and they share ("prove") their adventures by sharing photos and text with friends and other Society members.
Pro's: First, the app looks and responds beautifully. Elegant animations and transition screens abound. It's powered by BING.com which proves to offer a lot of initial data respectively. The app's a bit advanced to a user unaccustomed to a check-in environments. As you're checking in, it's making you a founder to established locations and creator of societies of influence. Very cool, but a bit heady given that you're new to proximity based (location based) applications.
Con's: A lot to take on if it's your first but I don't have any outstanding fails – yet.
If you’re under 18, get your parent’s permission first. It reads at the bottom of a brief statement on the company blog for Walt Disney World theme parks. The company today is releasing screen shots of their new Smart Phone application. It will initially be – bringing attraction wait times, FASTPASS return times, extensive information on character locations and more for Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks to your Verizon Wireless phone.
Other funcationality of note will be rich GPS enabled maps of the parks. Based on what I can see there's nothing new to this content that's not being done in a mapping capacity. The power will be the integration within their queue-line setup to determine and dynamically feed wait-times.
Here's the knife in the devil's throat: "If you are not a Verizon Wireless subscriber, you can still use your mobile phone to access select information via text and on the Disney Parks Mobile Web site. It’s just better from our friends at Verizon Wireless." Nothing cracks me up more than Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks giving a wink to the vendor, while Steve Jobs sits on the steering committee at Pixar. Seconds after the post to be followed by these comments:
For Disney's sake I hope they're listening. I'm an iPhone/Apple/Beer/... snob. Additionally, I love the brand! I'm like most everyone in Orlando, I love all the parks! Especially as a new father I can actually see what joy they can bring. Even with that said it's simply beyond shortsighted for them to overlook such a appropriate demographic as iPhone users. Bare in mind there are other mobile apps, released prior that is making Disney now fight for the "me too" spot.
The icing on the top of the capitalistic cake however is this: I was told this mobile application is available for download and purchase beginning in November for $9.99 for six months of service! YAY! While most apps are a couple of bucks and updates are free, Disney is herding you into the Cool-aid line for cash? It's IMHO that they just go this one wrong. There's plenty of time to fix the "ID-10-T" error here, a one time app charge will fix this issue.
I see pay website content coming for Disney's future and I think it's fine. Taking on the Club Penguin genre with a monthly subscription fee for a safe place for our children to have fun online – I'm a believer. With that said you cannot just break the mold for mobile applications and expect zero backlash. Maybe Disney's brand can afford the impact, but I cannot see why you'd be willing to take the hit when you don't have to.