Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Glympse Android App Review
RATING: 5 out of 5
TASTY: Glympse makes it easy to share your location in real-time with anyone, anywhere, and set a time limit for how long the notification is active.
BUMMER: Can’t earn badges or mayorships for “checking in” or “setting my location.” A worthy trade for complete control over how this data is stored and who can access it, no?
COOL: Want to share your location with a single person or small group, then have the information disappear after a set time? Glympse makes it possible, and addresses privacy concerns raised by popular alternatives like Gowalla and FourSquare.
SIMILAR APPS IN THE MARKETPLACE:
Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.
For many months now, I’ve used Gowalla and FourSquare to alert my friends, family, and co-workers to my location at any given time. When I’m away on business or pleasure, it’s fun to “check in” or “set my location” at coffee houses, hotels, convention centers, and elsewhere. Instantly that information appears in my Twitter and Facebook feeds, and the entire planet knows where I am.
In recent months, I’ve greatly reduced these activities. Why? There’s no way to un-store this information once its been freely posted. I’ve left a myriad of virtual bread crumbs across any number of locations, which anyone can mine, examine, and generally use for their own purposes.
Which is why I’m so glad to have found Glympse. This free app does what FourSquare and Gowalla do – sharing your exact position with others -- without all the bells, whistles, and privacy concerns that come along with them.
Once you’ve set your location, Glympse creates a one-off webpage, containing your first name, location, and Google Map showing your location. The app makes it easy to share a link to this private webpage to anyone via email, SMS (text message), and yes, Facebook (showing to Friends Only) or Twitter.
The secret sauce? Your location is only shared for the duration of time you specify, then the page and its information go away. No virtual breadcrumbs. No trace. No privacy concerns.
I’ll miss my Gowalla badges and FourSquare mayorships, but Glympse gives me much better control of who knows where I am and for how long. Perfect.