by Jeff Noble
August 15, 2008
Overview Whrrl is a dynamic LBS (location based service) app that is designed to help keep you and your friends updated with each other's whereabouts. It has a full-featured and attractive website that complements the app. You'll want to download it today and tell everyone where in the Whrrl-d you are!
FunctionalityYou will need to sign in and create an account initially. After that, Whrrl will ask if it can use your current location. Obviously, you'll want to say yes, but if not, you can be content with looking around someone else's city with complete strangers' input. Or not. The first screen that Whrrl will show you is one that has a location button in the top left, two tabs - "Map" and "List" and a search button in the top right. Across the bottom, you'll see two more tabs - "Explore" and "Friends." As the map finds you, it will pull up a bunch of small icons - upside down houses looking thingies. Each of those represents a place or business on the map. Touching one of those icons pulls up an interactive screen related to that location. You can rate it, tell folks you're "here," write a review, etc. If you're there, snap a pic of that location on your phone and then upload it to the website when you get back. That way, there will be an ongoing pictorial directory of your favorite places. The other buttons...
- 1. Map - You can scroll around on the map, and locations will change, bringing up new places to look at. Once you find a place on the map you like, you can click on list, and it will bring up a list of locations for that particular area of the map.
2. List - In list view, you'll have a scroll down (depending on how many places there are near the map selection) that you can navigate through. You'll be able to see the ratings of each place, given to it by users and friends. By clicking on the location, you'll be back at the interactive screen for that location mentioned above.
One amazing thing about Whrrl is that it already has dozens of local locations listed for you. Other apps require you to input your own. At present, however, Whrrl does not do private or personal locations such as residences. You can input your address on the website or iPhone, and it will locate you there, but you won't ever see an icon for your home on the map.
3. Location Screen - Here is where all the interaction takes place for locations. In the image above, you can see Wal-Mart's interactive screen. We have a saying in south Arkansas, "If Wal-Mart ain't got it, you don't need it." And yet, to date, it's only been given a three-star rating. Go figure. You can see five other tab possibilities here, demonstrating the power of the Whrrl app. They are:
Facts - This window will show you the location's information like phone number and address. It's the default window for the location. Opinions - This gives you the option to rate the location on a 5-star system as well as add a brief review of it by clicking "Add Your Opinion." I'm Here/I'm Not Here - This is where you tell your friends/followers where you are. The website keeps track of all the places you've been, and it's pretty fun to go there and check things out after playing around with Whrrl for a while. Want to Go Been There/Haven't Been There - depending on your selection.
- 4. Explore - This takes you back to the map window and allows you to scroll around looking for new places.
5. Friends - Pulls up a list of your friends, their most recent update. By clicking on a friend, it will pull up their profile and a feed of their locations and ratings. Inside this window, there will be the infamous blue side triangle (which on the iPhone means "more") beside each location update. Clicking on the arrow will pull up the info screen about that location.