October 20, 2011 | by Charles West
Evaluated version: 1.0.4
Pros: Simplicity, 'Nearby' photo wall, easy sharing
Cons: Potential to be boring, no premiere "stick out" feature
Everyday the world around you is becoming more and more reliant on how we as people socialize on the Web. A social networking app is the quickest and most efficient way for us to share information to both our friends in the physical and on the internet. Recently, I reviewed a social app called Trover, a new smartphone-based social network that lets you share discoveries with friends and fellow explorers in a visual, fun way – all based on your location.
I admit at first glance I thought I was dealing with another location-based check-in app, but Trover turned out to be much different. Users are expected to share their experiences at places they find to be interesting via a photo and quick note. I found these very features to be eerily similar to that of the discontinued social network service, Pool Party. In Pool Party, users shared photos of their experiences to their groups of friends privately (kinda like Google+), where Trover is open to sharing to all of your friends like Foursquare and Gowalla.
Some other noteworthy features include:
- Visually explore interesting things to see and do nearby
- Post your own discoveries by snapping a photo
- Celebrate when friends encounter your discoveries
When I used the app I was immediately drawn to its ‘Nearby’ feature, which shows off pictures of locations near you in collage like way. Each photo has a miles ticker displayed in the left side corner of the app showing the distance from one place to another whether it’s walking, skateboarding, bicycling, or driving. Second, is the ‘Feed’ action that shows all the latest photo sharing from different users abroad both nationally and internationally. Other than that, you get to see your profile and another section called ‘Featured’, which doesn’t look any different from the ‘Feed’ section. You can add notifications, find friends on Facebook and Twitter and invite new people.
Overall, I think Trover is a good start at something that could be potentially great, but right now it seems unfinished. There isn’t any key feature that pops out to me. With Pool Party you had groups or circles, with Foursquare you have check-ins and massive adoptions, coupon deals, and achievement badges, and with Gowalla you have story telling. Trover has the benefit of being focused on travelers, but it needs something else to find a true identity that makes this app stick out from all the others.