Location based services - we all know they're going to tsunami their way over the tech world. GPS apps are the latest 'It' software, maybe because it fits so nicely into that social networking thing we also hear is sort of popular. Knowing where the best food, drink and friends nearest to you are rocks. So here are five of our favourite location based apps.
Whrrl (iPhone/restricted function on BlackBerry and camera phones)
Post pictures and short status updates (they call 'em stories) from your iPhone, with the option to share them with your Twitter and Facebook accounts too. You share your location and stories with fellow Whrrl-ers, and you can also check out the built-in map to see everyone else's location and stories. BlackBerry users can only post stories through SMS or email, while anyone with a camera phone can post pictures of where they've been.
Free from Whrrl.com
Another GPS-using social networking app that lets you know who's around and what they're up to. Unlike a lot of similar apps, you're not limited to people already in your social network – you can have a nose at any uSonar users. Members post Tweet-like 'blips' about what they're doing and where they are, and you can message them directly. Comprehensive privacy settings mean you have full control over who can see and contact you.
Free from iTunes Store
Qype, the search and user recommendation site, is releasing a new version of their Radar app, which puts over one million user-reviewed places - shops, bars, restaurants - in your hands, and allows you to post insta-reviews of where you've been as well. The GPS aspect kicks in with you being able to search for the best places nearest to you, and once you've selected a place you're interested in, you'll be given directions and a map from where you currently are.
Free from Qype.com, in week starting April 20
3 deep (Windows Mobile/iPhone/Android/BlackBerry)
This innovative app for contact books allows you to share your location and status in various instant messaging and social networking programs (MSN, Facebook, etc). Of course, you pick how much info you're wiling to share. The app collects your calendar info, IM and social network stuff, along with your physical location so that people will be able to see (if you choose) where you are, what you're doing and whether you're available. You can also use the 'Tell Me When' feature to let your contacts know whether and how to get in touch with you - call, text, email, IM.
The app is currently in private beta - reserve your place at 3deep
Loopt (all phones)
OK, so you don't just want to be seen by people who are near you. Loopt allows you to broadcast your location and send pictures to contacts in all your social networks - Twitter and Facebook spring to mind - and best of all, it works on over 100 phone models, including iPhone, BlackBerrys, G1... It's also integrated with review site Yelp, so if you're that bored, you can look up things to do in your vicinity. Sadly, it's currently available in the US only.
Free from Loopt.com