Trover launches Lists today, a new way to highlight the rich, guided tours its pioneer users create for the places they live. At its core, Trover is a location-based photo browser, putting its users' photos on a map you can explore. It uses social networks to help with discoveries, but its emphasis is on the things found by its users.
In addition to lists, which will help highlight individual users more, today's update also adds @-mentions and redesigns the news feed to be more about the people. Trover has positioned itself as a "browser" for places, but when you talk to CEO Jason Karas, you hear Trover is learning that people are part of those places. The new version of Trover is still about discovering places, but it provides the authentic flavor that only the local folks can offer.
World-Browsers Feel Like the Future
Trover (available for iPhone and Android) is in a category of apps that matters to me. So-called "browsers for the world" represent the future I dreamed about as a kid, where our devices are not difficult or distracting, they're seamless extensions of and enhancements to our daily lives. Using a smartphone to find cool stuff to see and do is one of the most natural kinds of computing I can imagine. This is what drew me to Trover when it launched.
But since then, another iPhone world-browser has drawn me in. I've been using Localscope, which I think is much closer to a "browser," per se, than Trover is. It's a sleek user interface to aid in locating things.
Localscope searches across virtually all major Web services that share location data, so you can click from Facebook to Twitter to Foursquare to Google Maps (and much more) until you find something interesting. It's got two modes, browsing and searching. It is to the physical world what, say, Chrome is to the Web.
Is Trover a Browser or a Guide?
Discussing Localscope and Trover with Jason Karas the other day, the differences stood out so starkly that I - presumptuous blogger that I am - suggested that Trover might not be a browser after all. It's more like a guide, and today's new features further enhance that side of it.
First of all, Trover makes it easy to share discoveries as well as find things discovered by others. It's a two-way experience. But also, Localscope is designed around efficiency, finding what you're looking for and putting the phone away. Trover is an immersion. You follow people, you find the experts and tastemakers in your area, and you learn to trust their tastes.
Check out Trover and see what's happening in your area. If there isn't much, be a pioneer. That was Karas' word. If you love where you live, and you're proud of it, sharing it on Trover can help new people find those local gems. And if you're somewhere full of great guides, Trover will help you get to know the place.
Going to SXSW? Trover Is.
As a bit of a "coming out party," as Karas called it, Trover is hosting a Discover East Austin Mobile PhotoWalk on Saturday, Feb. 18 as part of South by Southwest. It's hosted by local explorers, and participants will get a sense of the city they're in outside the confines of the huge conference.
What kinds of location-based apps do you use, and how do you use them?