Jan 24 AT 3:57 AM Taylor Wimberly 12 Comments

Gowalla targets Android to continue its rapid growth

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?

Source: GigaOM

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Chad D

    I just read somewhere that booyah.com has the fastest growing user base. But they only have iPhone love.

  • http://Website roy

    Good post and good interview!

    I liked the idea of Gowalla as your passport or diary of the places you’ve been, but if twitter roles out a location checkin service, then it’s probably just done.

    I like using foursquare, but its the only one I can use. However, my friends stopped using it so it didn’t really feel fun anymore. Gowalla would still feel fun when you’re visiting unique places so that’s a plus for a small userbase app..

  • http://Qype Christian

    And you also forgot the Qype Android app…

  • http://Website James

    I’ve been checking out Gowalla recently. I liked the look of foursquare but my city isn’t supported so can’t try it. Gowalla’s mobile site is really nice but I’m really looking forward to an android app!

    • http://jturmel.blogspot.com JT

      Foursquare supports all cities now.

      • http://Website James

        Hmm so it does. Doesn’t seem to be many places to check-in in my city but I’ll try it, might be a few more users on foursquare and I like the mayor idea :P

  • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

    The Gowalla mobile site is amazingly solid and I can’t wait for the local app.

  • G3K

    Yelp is not a checkin site at all. It is a restaurant and venue guide that operates nothing like Foursquare and its ilk. It has a very large userbase and a terrible Android app but it does not allow users to report their location like Foursquare does.

    And you forgot Loopt, which also has an Android app.

  • rushdamian

    Just registered for gowalla and am pleasantly surprised at just how many places there are already loaded in the tiny little town of New Braunfels, (where i currently hail from!) I’m liking gowalla!

  • http://Website keni

    4square sounds like the 360 equivalent of achievements.

  • http://blog.taylorgphotography.com taylor2nd

    I’ve gotta say foursquare hits the spot where location checkin in is concerned for me on android. :)

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