Gowalla and Foursquare release yet another update to their iPhone apps today. And these are some big guns coming out to accompany the various real-life incentives, contests and whatever else these the two companies can do to take the focus at this year's SXSW.As many in the Twitterverse have dubbed this week, the battle of location based apps continues, as both
Both apps are showcasing new design features the companies are calling "fresh" and other such things, and while they surely are, some of these other features are what really stand out.
Foursquare is surely the less notable in this release, in our opinion, as it's list of new features is shorter and less impressive. It's boasting a faster, more efficient check-in and shout flow, a "Places" view that supports categories, a history view of places you've been and a "pull-to-refresh" feature. These are nothing to sneeze at, but we think Gowalla is releasing some functions that blow these away.
First of all, Gowalla is bringing photos to the location based game, allowing users to upload a photo after checking in. Users can also browse their friends' photos and look at any that have been taken at that specific location.
Next, it's bringing some interactivity to the game, with check-in commenting. When a friend checks in at a place down the street, you don't need to change over to your Twitter client and send them a DM, you can just comment on their check-in. And if you forgot to type a check-in message when you checked in to a spot, you can go back and add it.
In addition to these, Gowalla is bringing out new friend browsing features, enabling you to look through friends, friends of friends, and even their bookmarked spots and trips. With "spot details", including address, phone, Twitter name, Facebook page and website, Gowalla is adding that Yelp (or should I say Foursquare) aspect that was really missing - real world connection information.
And one more feature that may be overloaded next week or may be the talk of the town, "Hot Spots", tells you what the most popular spots near your location are. We haven't had time to really play with it yet, but it sure sounds interesting.
The updates just popped up in the App Store right now so go get updated and let us know what you think - who is going to win the location based battle of SXSW 2010? As far as this round goes, we're calling it for Gowalla.