Monday, July 27, 2009

Centrl iPhone LBS App to feature Push Notification

I have been reviewing several apps on the iTunes store over the last few days to see what is the current state of location-aware apps with a social networking element.

I came across New York based Centrl even before I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Murat Atkithanoglu, Centrl's founder, and found the app to be one of the best in its class, both in terms of feature range as well as simplicity of use.

Centrl gives users the power to search for people and places but also special offers within their immediate vicinity. All this may sound familiar, but make no mistake. Centrl comes packed with a whole series of nifty, practical features in what is clearly a thoroughly thought out application.

You can save not only your favourite places but also special deals of interest (such as money off coupons), with the option to share that information with people in your buddy list. Centrl also remembers your last location, so that even if you are relying on the Wi-Fi you can still get relevant information around you.

Needless to say, both Facebook and Twitter accounts can be connected to Centrl making importing contacts easy. Plus, Centrl comes with a public chat function, allowing members to talk in real time to their buddies nearby.

And when it comes to content, the user has a choice from a number of providers, from Yelp to to Oodle.

The real innovation will be the upgrading of the app to include Push Notification (available within iPhone OS 3.0) , alerting users to messages when the application is not actively running in the foreground. This is a key feature for social networking apps and is increasingly seen to be indispensable to maintain activity levels of the community.

If you have an iPhone, I encourage you to check Centrl out-it is a free app and is available on the iTunes store.