Blog A solution for the check-in service dilemma?

You might not like services like Foursquare, Gowalla or the even older Brightkite and think they don’t make any sense at all. Well, let’s just say there are still people out there who don’t think Twitter makes any sense at all. Fine by me. I’m not going to debate this over here. People probably thought the same when the telephone was invented. Just think about that strange new device in your home that could ring anytime if someone just dialed your number. Whoa!?

Anyway, there’s currently a fight going on between these contenders. The obvious problem: which service do I use to update my location and let my friends know where I am? Some of my friends only use Gowalla, some exclusively use Foursquare – and then there’s this one person who uses Brightkite. Do you really want to spend minutes launching one app after the other to update your location? I don’t.

Well, there’s a way out. It’s called, developed by the guys at Brightkite. Currently it’s in beta and you have to apply for an invite. It’s been a while since I signed up for it and got one just today. Thanks to the person at Brightkite, you know who you are. 🙂 So this is by no means a review, just a quick preview of what it looks like.

First off: it’s a web app, so you point your browser to their URL and go from there. This makes it possible to not only use it on one platform, like the iPhone, but on multiple devices at the same time without waiting for an approval (which may or may not happen fast or at all – we all know how Apple handles App Store approvals). Great way to do this kind of service.

After creating your account, you can add existing Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite accounts. At the moment it does not use OAuth, so you have to enter your login/password. I’m sure that’ll change eventually, probably before it comes out of beta.

Enough talk, here are some screenshots:

I’ll play around with this for a few days and then update this post. It’ll be interesting to watch how these location services pan out in the future…