Whether you’re travelling the globe or exploring your local area, Gowalla offers a fun way to share your wanderings with your friends and get recommendations on places to visit.
The key element of Gowalla is the ‘Story’. A kind of digital postcard, it shows a place you’ve visited and who you were with, as well as any photos or notes you might add. Linking up with your friends lets you view their Stories, and you can share your adventures with others through your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare feeds. At the moment, sky-high roaming charges will discourage most from using the app abroad, but with patience and luck in finding affordable Wi-Fi, it could also be a great travel guide.
Device: iPhone/iPod touch/iPad
Time required: Depends on how active you are in sharing your Stories
What you need
iOS 4.2 or later
Gowalla app (free)
Step 1: Ready, set..
If you’d rather not tell the world what you’re up to, you can still browse the top attractions in a range of cities, including London, Paris, Berlin and New York, using the app’s Guides. For a more personalised service, tap the bottom-right tab to sign in, or ‘Nearby Spots and Lists’ to see what’s in your area.
Step 2: Social skills
The easiest way to start using Gowalla is through Facebook. This enables you to automatically update your Facebook feed with your Stories, and makes finding your friends quick and easy. If you’re not a Facebook user – or you’d just rather keep the two separate – you can create a dedicated Gowalla account.
Step 3: Story time
To see your friends’ Stories from their travels, simply tap the people icon in the bottom leftundefinedhand corner. Tap through the Stories to find out more about them, or hit the green icon to the top right and pick a venue from the list of nearby places to start adding a Story of your own.
Step 4: On the list
Lists are a great way to find places that have been recommended by other Gowalla users. You can search for anything from suggestions for tours of cities to a selection of places to chill out in. Find them in ‘Nearby Spots and Lists’ in Guides. Tap the folded-paper icon in the top right to see a map of their locations.
Step 5: The place to be
‘Nearby Spots and Lists’ also shows all the recommendations in your area. Each spot’s page offers a map and other visitors’ Stories from the venue. Add your own Story by tapping ‘I’m Here’, put your own thoughts on the venue in Highlights, or tap the ribbon icon in the bottom left to add it to a List of your own.
Step 6: The right profile
Your personal page features all your Stories, followers, Lists and Highlights. If you’d rather not receive emails and push notifications of your friends’ Stories, or want to change your privacy settings, tap the cog icon. This is also where you can link Gowalla to your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare accounts.