Location based checkin services are the hottest mobile apps and the competition is really cranking up. The main players are Foursquare, Gowalla, and Yelp. Each company has a mobile application and they are all supporting the Android platform.
Update: I totally forgot about Brightkite which also has an Android app. My apologies.
Foursquare was the first to join the Android party when they released an app last summer. It appears their Android dev team is small, but several updates have been released including a newly added widget. Their Android app has been downloaded 10-50k times and it is reported they have 290,000 total users.
Yelp published their Android app last month. Checkins were just added to the iPhone version, but this feature has not come to the Android version. Overall, the Android version is extremely lacking compared with the iPhone counterpart. The Android app has been downloaded over 50k times, but we don’t have their total user count. The Yelp website receives over 26 million visits a month and contains 9 million reviews.
Gowalla first became available on Android via their mobile site (which was updated last week) and the company now plans to release a native Android app. The Austin, TX based startup just received $8.4 million in funding (several same investors as Foursquare) and is closing in on 100k users. A beta version of the Andriod app should be coming in the next couple of weeks followed by a public release sometime before SXSW (March 12).
It is extremely too early to call a winner so it will be exciting to see how these companies innovate and perform over the next year. I’m currently registered for all three services and look forward to evaluating their Android experience. I expect we will also see Facebook and Google Latitude eventually add checkin features to their Android apps as well.
Our friend Om Malik recently sat down with Gowalla co-founder Josh Williams and talked about the future of Gowalla, Foursquare, and Yelp. I like Om’s interviews and this is one of his best.
If you have used any of these services, which do you like the best? Which one has the best design, is the most fun, and the easiest to use?