Services & Software

Whrrl's geo-social network comes to the iPhone

Location-based social network Whrrl has a new iPhone app out that lets you update your status, post photos, and see what other people are up to around you.

Location-based social network Whrrl has a new application for iPhone users called Whrrl 2.0. It lets you post photos and status updates that are tied to a geographical location. It includes integration with Facebook Connect and Twitter, meaning you can sign up and use the service with your Facebook credentials, and have your location updates and status updates from Whrrl cross-posted to both your social-networking profile and Twitter page.

Built-in privacy features let you pick how much of an update you want certain groups of people to see. For instance, when posting your location you can choose whether to give a certain group of people an approximation of where you are, or the exact location--complete with street number. You can also differentiate between the people you've added to your friends list, considering them as friends or "trusted friends," the latter of which can be given more information.

Instead of providing coordinates, or a little pin on a big map, the service will cross reference your locations with publicly listed buildings and locations which may save you a keystroke or two. It also remembers places you've been and will let you pick from a list of favorites.

The app packs all sorts of eye-candy goodness. Vibrantly color-laced menus pulse and pop up and over a large, user friendly map that you're able to zoom around on to see what other people are up to. It's not too over the top and gives it a very organic feeling. That said, the application is largely limited to your immediate surroundings. You can't search to see what people are doing in other cities without first befriending them, and the map only zooms out so far that attempting to cross to other parts of the country does not work. In other words a Loopt, this is not.

It is, however, possible to discover people in other cities from within the application although this requires digging through posted notes (usually the featured ones since you can't find these on the map) to find something interesting enough to warrant a friend request. In a dense urban setting this may prove useful, but I think the developers could go a long way in making the global stream of information easier to parse.

Existing Whrrl users with iPhones will love this application. Whrrl newbies, however, may be a little unsure how to start exploring what others are up to.

Whrrl's iPhone app lets you update your status to Facebook and Twitter, take photos, and see what other people are up to nearby. Click to embiggen. CNET Networks