Like many others, we all watched the Apple announcement today with bated breath. The rumor mill was as aggregious as ever in the weeks preceding the event, which is always entertaining. Would they announce the iPhone 5? Would they respond somehow to the Kindle Fire? Can Tim Cook fill Job’s shoes?
And admittedly, we also watched with nervous anticipation for the new features – if a company like Apple/Google/Facebook decides they want to do what were doing? Well, let’s just say that many times it has less than desired consequences. “Sherlocked” they call it….
So when the Allthingsd.com live blog started referencing a ‘new app that would allow you to find your friends’ I have to admit my stomach dropped a bit. One of the stories we’re trying to solve with Glassboard is exactly that (we’ve talked about it before here and here)- helping you locate your friends/co-workers/families when you’re out and about, and providing easy integration with your maps app so you can find them.
But then Mr Cue mentioned that it was a separate, distinct app like Loopt, Google Latitude or Glympse. And it was iPhone only. I suddenly felt my shoulders relax, and the color come back into my face. We love the location story. Its one of those use cases that is such a no-brainer when it comes to mobile. But having said that, location is a feature, not an app. Location works best as a part of your social experience, integrated where it makes sense and controled within the context of the experience. And it needs to be cross platform, not just for iPhone. I think Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb said it best, “The time for siloed, single-vendor, location sharing apps has passed.”
In Glassboard, you choose whether to add your location as part of each message you send. If it makes sense to add your location, then you do it. It shows where you are to everyone on the board where you are at that point in time, and it works in all of our clients. Glassboard doesn’t track you, your location simply added like any other attachement – like a picture or video. It really doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.
So i’m glad to see that Apple is giving some attention to location. Its great to see them promote and educate people to the benefits of knowing the location of your friends & co-workers at certain times. Ultimately it will help people appreciate how we use location in Glassboard as well.