by Jeff Noble
July 30, 2008
OverviewI'd never heard of Loopt before, but a quick trip to loopt.com revealed a comprehensive website, though a little PC-looking in the font display. Loopt takes advantage of the location ability of the iPhone and provides the ability to link with your social apps: Twitter, Facebook, etc. It's the microblogger's GPS/Twitter app. Of course, there are other apps seeking to compete, most notably Whrrl, but Loopt has some nifty functions.
FunctionalityAfter creating an account with your cell number and password, Loopt has four buttons on the bottom of the screen:
- 1. Map - This shows a map of your current location using the iPhone's navigation.
2. List - This shows a list of your friends and what their latest update and location is.
3. What's Up? - This enables you to update your status and includes options for taking a picture or choosing out of your photo library and stamping your location.
4. Settings - This is where you enter your account info, notification preferences and link to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
ReviewI have enjoyed using Loopt and have found it to be very easy on the eyes. There's not a lot of clutter or confusion. The iPhone app was well thought out. On the other hand, while Loopt has made the "cut" on my iPhone, it desperately needs some improving on the web end. It's full featured website is almost too confusing to navigate, and I found it pretty graphically unappealing. It looked very Web 0.2. Twinkle is an app that links directly with Twitter and allows location-stamping and status updates, as well as photos. Then there's the Facebook app that now allows photo updating as well. When you factor in all the other snotty young upstart apps clamoring for attention in the App Store, I think Loopt has an uphill road. It claims that it will be able to post to a blog soon, but in the past two weeks, that feature has not emerged. How much longer will Loopt stay on my iPhone? I'll try to keep you in the loopt.
SummaryI'd recommend Loopt to you without a second thought. It may be exactly the simple, easy to update app you've been looking for. Especially for students, it would be a LOT of fun, and it connects to the two main social presence sites that are popular right now: Twitter and Facebook. One app updates your presence on both sites. Nice. And did I mention that it's free?! ;)