‘Location’ is one of the big buzzwords in the mobile device space this year, so it’s no surprise that Loopt is specifically targeting Apple’s new iPad, with consideration for how people might use this large multi-touch device. The Loopt Pulse app rounds out Loopt and Loopt Mix mobile social sharing applications by taking a different approach: location-planning use instead of location-sharing.
On the heels of O’Reilly’s Where 2.0 conference in San Jose, CA, and all the location-based app announcements at the recent SXSW 2010 in Austin, TX, is a device that may change personal mobile computing the way the iPhone changed smartphones – with expectations of 7M units expected to be sold in 2010 and over 20M by 2012. Loopt considered how people might use the iPad, given its form factor, and the inconvenience of using it like a smartphone. Their decision: that consumers were more likely to use it for on-the-go planning rather in the fashion of location-sharing and friend-tracking mobile apps such as Foursquare, MyTown or Stuck.
To facilitate this sort of usage, Loopt has partnered with Zagat, CitySearch, MetroMix and others to provide content — much of it visual — for Loopt Pulse. You can browse places and events from the photo grid feature, tap on them, then share your pick with friends. Facebook Connect integration makes it easy for users to set up and manage events with friends.
Personally, I have multiple intended uses for the iPad that I’m hoping to get tomorrow, including trying out Loopt. Anyone else getting an iPad? What are you planning to use it for? Have you looked at any of the other “location” apps available?