One place where the competition has foursquare beat is in the ability to upload photos with your checkins. Foursquare says this is coming soon, but in the meantime one developer has come up with an elegant solution that you can use today. Squarelog is a full-featured foursquare client for iPhone that lets you upload pictures with your checkins and tips.
Adding photos is a fundamental feature of Gowalla, Brightkite, Whrrl and other apps. Developers have tried add-on solutions that work on top of foursquare’s API, but none work as well as the implementation in Squarelog (at least for iPhone users; this has been a feature of the third-party-developed WebOS version of foursquare for quite some time). Until foursquare adds native photo support, Squarelog is the best way to share photos with your foursquare friends.
The photos you take are all stored on Squarelog’s servers; a link to them is included in your tip or shout. They’re tied to the venue and are easily accessible to other Squarelog users from within the app. Sadly, foursquare doesn’t recognize links in tips or shouts, so users of the regular foursquare app and website will only be able to see your photos by copying and pasting the link.
The Squarelog website where you can view photos is very simply designed, but has a number of useful features. Next to the photo is a map of the venue, a selection of other photos by the user (similar to the Flickr photostream), and the ubiquitous tweet and Facebook like buttons. An “Add to Foursquare” button is included too, making it easy to add the venue to your to-do list if you see something you like. You can comment on any user’s photos by logging in with your foursquare account.
Squarelog functions well as a foursquare client, although perhaps not as elegantly as foursquare’s official app. You can search for venues, check in, view and post tips and to-dos. You don’t need to wait for your photos and checkins to be posted; if you’re using iOS 4, those actions continue in the background. One additional touch is the option to see nearby points of interest from Wikipedia. It’s a neat way to learn more about an area while you’re traveling.
Squarelog’s hidden gem is its API, which launched simultaneously with the app. Developers of other apps can incorporate Squarelog photos into their own apps or offer the ability for users to upload pictures to the Squarelog servers.
It’s a mystery why foursquare hasn’t added native photo uploading yet, but Squarelog provides a great model of how it should be done. It’s available for $2.99 in the app store.
Developer Robert Spychala has generously given us ten promo codes for About Foursquare readers. Leave a comment below and tell us what you’d like to post a picture of. At Noon Eastern on Wednesday (10/20), we’ll select 10 commenters at random and email you a promo code.