It all started with a poll create by ReadWriteWeb where they asked people what location based mobile apps people were planning to use at SXSW. I left a comment on that post stating that I wanted a multi-checkin service to which Baratunde Thurston showed his excitement for as well, followed by a comment from Martin May of Brightkite stating that he was working on it.
The next day Marshall Kirkpatrick wrote a post eluding to what Martin May had announced and providing some thoughts and details on what a universal checkin service might provide. Just 12 days later RWW writes about a website created for a new service called Check.in which emerges showing what Martin and his team have been working on.
Well Check.in has now been opened up for beta testing and several people have started to use it. MG Siegler wrote a post about it over at TechCrunch a few days ago exclaiming how it’s “potentially a brilliant remedy for checkin fatigue” which I totally agree with. You can go read MG’s post to get some more details and perspective on the service but I decided to record a video showing you the service in action.
As you can see it’s a nice simple way to checkin to Brightkite, Foursquare, and Gowalla. Not only do you avoid the need to run each app separately but you also save a ton of time because it bypasses redundancies and additional data being pulled from each of the services as well. After using it for several days I’m really enjoying the minimalist approach to simply checking in.
That being said, you will still need to load native apps in cases where you want to view some of the additional functionality from each of them such as viewing friends that may also be at the location, viewing trending areas near you, sharing or viewing photos from your venue, or any other unique features native to each service.
While Check.in currently supports the top gaming based LBS’s It will also be nice when they add support for others such as Loopt, Whrrl, Yelp and others. Moving forward it would also be great if features beyond the checkin get added to also take advantage of universal features across services such as being able to post a photo to multiple services or aggregate friends data to be displayed from multiple services within Check.in.
I look forward to watching this service evolve and continue to make the splintered hassle of participating across all of these services a lot more manageable.
So if you’re interesting in trying the service out the folks at Check.in have offered to provide 50 invites for readers of Lifestream Blog who retweet this post and follow the checkdotin account on Twitter so they can DM you the invite code.
16 thoughts on “Your Checkins are About to Get a Whole Lot Easier with Check.in”
I'm kind of eager to see how this app/service will handle individual features of certain location-based services that go beyond the plain check-in information — like for instance finding and collecting items on Gowalla…!?
Also I'm not quite sure how it is going to deal with venues or spots that are listed on one of the services but maybe not yet on some of the others…?!
But anyway, it's a start and like many others I have been waiting for something like this for quite time, so I sure hope they'll get it right…! 😉
Nice article. Would love an invite. I will wait.
Mile, integrating unique features to a specific service I'm guessing won't be easy or make much sense to offer but features that span multiple services I think do.
As for how to deal with venues not listed on a specific service…well you are given the option to skip services that don't have your venue listed during the checkin process so that's not an issue. But offering the ability to add that venue would be nice.
Yeah, I guess that catering to individual features of each service might be difficult and probably also limited by what options the APIs allow for – so I suppose we'll have to wait and see where it all goes and how it all develops…
But yes, having the option to add a venue is definitely something that should be in there at some point…!
Well, I'll just wait for my invite to pop up then…I kinda missed my chance when they gave away invites on Mashable but since I was like the 8th person to re-tweet on here I think it should show in the DM section of my Twitter client some time soon…!? 🙂
Oh, one more thing: do you happen to know why they didn't make this a native iPhone (or Android or whatever) app and if they are planning to do so any time soon…?
I'm going to give this a shot. I really like both foursquare and Gowalla, I actually started with Gowalla first. I have ended up though mostly just checking in with foursquare as there are just a few things that I like more about their service.
Personally, I wish they would both just combine forces and create the ultimate check in app, but I don't think that will ever happen.
Has anyone actually received an invite yet…? Still waiting for mine… 🙁
Have you still not gotten your invite? If so I'll reach out to them to make sure they send you one.
No, unfortunately I have not…! 🙁
I even asked them about it on Twitter a couple hours ago but didn't even get a reply…so I'd really appreciate any help — thanks in advance…!
It looks like you finally got the invite based on a tweet you sent out. Glad you finally got it.
Yeah, I guess nagging works too…!? 😉
Thanks though for offering to help and of course also for the informative article…!
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