The upgraded Loopt iPhone application, available this week, allows users to keep friends updated on where they are with a unique hybrid model of check-ins and background updates: Users can check in to a location to tell friends where they are -- and optionally share those check-ins to Facebook and Twitter -- but they can also choose to inform a selected group of people where they are at any given time without having to check in or even launch Loopt. Friends appear on the Loopt map, which updates in real-time as friends move around.
Background location sharing also alerts friends when they are within a few blocks of each other so they can meet up, allows parents to stay informed where family members are, and allows friends to stay up to date on a friend's adventurous cross-country travels. The feature is always completely user-controlled. Users choose which friends to include on the background location sharing updates, and how long to keep the location sharing turned on. Typically Loopt users will turn on background location sharing with a small subset of friends and family, but share check-ins with a wider group of friends on Loopt, Facebook and Twitter.
Background location sharing adds to the existing rich feature set of Loopt that includes browsing of cool events and places to hang out with friends. Loopt integrates content from partners including SonicLiving, Zvents, Metromix, Zagat, CitySearch, Microsoft Bing and TastingTable.
"The ability to run location-based apps in the background makes serendipity happen. With the new capabilities provided by iOS 4, users will be able to share their location and receive alerts on the phone in their pocket when they're near a friend. This sort of accidental discovery just wasn't possible with a Check In-only approach to location sharing," said Sam Altman, CEO of Loopt. "We will be able to bring the full Loopt experience to our users, allowing them to find friends with a single click or instantly discover interesting events nearby in a way that is fully controlled, adjustable and above all privacy-conscious."
Features new to Loopt 3.0 include:
- Background updating - taking advantage of iOS 4, Loopt will update a user's location to a selected group of friends, without requiring them to check in or constantly re-launch the app.
- PNS alerts - when a friend is nearby, Loopt will push a notification to the user letting them know a friend is in the neighborhood.
- Grid based navigation - the user interface re-design allows for a simpler user experience by surfacing the rich feature set of the Loopt app.
- Closer Facebook integration - users can choose to share their location when they check in via Facebook; they can also send out Facebook friend requests joining the Loopt network.
The release of Loopt 3.0 comes shortly after the launch of Loopt Star, the first fully customizable, real-world rewards game for retailers and brands. Loopt Star allows businesses to give loyal customers something of real value, like discounts and free gifts, for checking in and encourages foot-traffic into stores.
Loopt 3.0 for the iPhone is available from the App Store. The Loopt app also runs on over 100 other phones, including Android, for which a new version was recently introduced, and BlackBerry. For more information, visit www.loopt.com.
Loopt is the leading location-based mobile social mapping company. Loopt produces a suite of mobile applications including Loopt, Loopt Star, Loopt Pulse for iPad, and Loopt Mix, to allow users to discover the world around them. Loopt products use location on mobile phones, iPad and iPod touch devices to help their users find and enjoy the friends, places, and events around them right now. The Loopt services have more than three million registered users and partnerships with every major U.S. mobile phone carrier. Loopt is available on over 100 phones, including iPhone. (See www.loopt.com/phones for the full range of supported handsets.) The company is located in Silicon-Valley. Loopt was designed with privacy considerations at its core and offers a variety of effective and intuitive privacy controls.
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Contact: Alice Lankester Loopt, Inc. Email Contact 650.230.6064 Samantha Murillo On behalf of Loopt, Inc. Email Contact 415.848.7167