Tag: iphone apps

Battle of the Location Based iPhone Apps

Three Men Enter, One Man Leaves

location based iphone apps

Where You At?

I have been reading and hearing tons of arguments about which location based service is “winning” the war for your phone. Well, I decided to test a few of them for a month to see who i think is the best. I loaded a bunch of apps on my phone and tried to check in on all of them in a variety of locations. As you may suspect, I also got a variety of results. Some good and some bad.

Let’s take a look.

Here are the three location based application/services that I tested:

  • Foursquare – The biggest name in this space.
  • Gowalla – Up and coming challenger to the King.
  • Yelp – Business ratings monster throws its hat in the ring.

Here is the list of apps that I rejected:

  • Google Buzz
  • Loopt
  • Layar
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Basically, I skipped them all because they are not really location based social networking games. Rather, they’re social networking apps with some aspect of location included.

How they Fared

I rated each service on Location, Interface, GPS Accuracy, and Extra Features.


Foursquare is the king of the hill in this game for a good reason. It’s got a huge community, it works well, and it’s just plain fun. Spoiler Alert – it’s my favorite.

Locations: 4 stars

Interface: 4 – pretty good

GPS Accuracy: 2 – horrible!

Extra Features: This is easily the best, most fun interface and community of the three.

Room for Improvement: It would be nice if you could post business / party photos like Gowalla and Yelp.


Gowalla is one of those nice stories that makes you want to root for them. The thing is, it just doesn’t feel as good to use. It just feels a little half-assed in my opinion.

Locations: 3 (worst in the roundup)

Interface: 4 (pretty good)

GPS Accuracy: 1 – the worst

Extra Features: It’s pretty easy to add photos

Room for Improvement: More locations and a larger user base.


While Yelp technically functions as well as Foursquare, it just doesn’t feel as fun. However, it does double as an incredible portable yellow pages / business review tool. It ain’t Foursquare, but you still need it on your device.

Locations: 4.5 out of 5 (best in the roundup)

Interface: 4 stars

GPS Accuracy: 2.5 (the best is still real bad)

Extra Features: Massive collection of review data on businesses.

Room for Improvement: Make it easier to add missing places

Comparison of Locations

Over the course of a month, I attempted to check in using all three apps everywhere I went. (Yeah, my wife wanted to choke me.)

Here are the results.

location based apps checkin chart

Foursqure was the best, Gowalla was the worst, and Yelp was right in the middle. All of them had NO accuracy on the GPS location. Pretty bad for location based apps, wouldn’t you say?

And the Winner Is…

Foursqure by a decent margin. By the way, my ID is as you may have guessed, VitaminCM on all three apps. Add me as a friend if you’re looking to share recommendations and badges.

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Battle of the iPhone Twitter Clients

6 Titans Put to the Test

OVERVIEW: Comparison of 6 of the top Twitter apps for the iPhone. Echofon, Tweetdeck, Tweetie, Twitteriffic, Twittelator, and Hootsuite.


There are tons of Twitter applications for the iPhone. I took a look at 6 of the most popular ones to see which one is the true champion.

Here are the Twitter apps that I tested:

  • Echofon
  • Hootsuite
  • Twitteriffic
  • Tweetdeck
  • Tweetie
  • Twittelator

How I Tested

I installed all of the applications below on my iPhone and used them fairly heavily. Over the course of two weeks, I used one application as my only Twitter interaction for two straight days. I tried to test every situation that I could think of to see how well each application worked. I also took detailed notes on things that caught my eye as good, bad, or weird as they occurred.

Disclaimer: I have been using Twitteriffic Premium for several months and LOVE it. I think that my work on this blog demonstrates my passion for free software. So if my cheap ass springs for the most expensive app on the list, you should take note.

Echofon (formerly Twitterfon)

Price: Free (Ad Supported) / $4.99 premium

Echofon used to be called Twitterfon until Twitter’s copy write lawyers got involved. I tested the free, ad supported version of this client. I generally liked everything I saw. Reading, retweeting, creating of tweets all was very nice. Everything functioned exactly as I thought it should. If I had not already bought two of the premium apps on this list, I would definitely consider Echofon. iPhone App Store

Pros: “Nearby Tweets Map” is awesome! Instapaper Support. Smooth interface.

Cons: 5 bucks is a lot to get rid of a few ads.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

HootSuite lite & HootSuite

Price: Free (Ad Supported) / $1.99 premium

I like Hootsuite. I think it’s more for the SEO social networking power geek than the average user. It feels slightly less smooth than Twitteriffic or Tweetie, but it could be good for some people.

iPhone App Store

Pros: You can post to multiple accounts at once. You can schedule tweets.

Cons: Can’t sort tweets from oldest to newest.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 3 out of 5 stars


Price: Free (Ad Supported) / No premium version

If you want to keep track of your Facebook and Twitter presence from the same app, than this is the one for you. I don’t love the interface. It seems like you’re always clicking left, scrolling down, swiping right, etc. It’s all over the place.

Download from App Store

Pros: Facebook support, there are cool little shortcut keys to insert # and @ into your tweets.

Cons: Busy, clunky interface, no oldest to newest sort.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 3 out of 5 stars

Tweetie 2

Price: Free (Ad Supported) / $3.99 premium

Tweetie 2 is constantly labeled as the “best twitter app for the iPhone”. Well, I’m just not sure at all. I constantly felt like I was clicking all over the place to get things done. I just doesn’t feel quite as smooth as I liked.

Download from the app store

Pros: I love the “Nearby Tweets Map” in the Search view. Landscape Scrolling. Draft Saving. I also like that there is support for Instapaper.

Cons: No free version. If feels like there are too many “keystrokes” required for certain functions. Draft saving.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

Twittelator & Twittelator Pro

Price: Free (Ad Supported) / $4.99 premium

I wanted to love this one so badly. Mostly for the cool egg logo. Sadly, I’m just not that into it. When you see a tweet that you like which has a link in it, guess what? You can’t open the link! Done! not even close to good enough.

Pros: Cool nearby tweets map view.

Cons: You can’t open links in a browser.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars 2 out of 5 stars

Twitteriffic & Twitteriffic Premium

Price: Free (Ad Supported) / $4.99 premium

This is my absolute favorite of the whole bunch. I love how solid the interface is. Love how you can save tweeted web pages with Instapaper for later reading. Yes, it’s tied for the most expensive app in roundup, but if you use Twitter a lot, it is worth every penny.

Pros: Very smooth, clean interface. Everything works just like you expect it to.

Cons: No Nearby Tweets map feature

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars

iPhone Twitter Application Feature Comparison

The following table breaks down some of the main features for all of the contestants.


Which Twitter Client Do You Use?

Show some support for your favorite Twitter App in the survey below.

As always, please leave your thoughts, questions, or feedback in the Comments section. Also, if you use a great Twitter app that is not listed here or is on a phone other than the iPhone, let’s hear about it.

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