Roamz is one of the best all round location apps available for iPhone. Yes, I know there are hundreds of location apps to choose from to find interesting things in your area, but Roamz is a little different.
Roamz uses many location and social services to show you what is happening around you. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Instagram are all used, and Roamz combines these social and location sources to determine what actual people are talking about and where they have been visiting. The brilliant aspect is that you don’t need to log into anything or sign into any services, as Roamz quickly figures out where you are and pulls down all the data from its various sources, and the app is ready to go.
It is refreshing to have something work so well ‘out of the box’ and not require multiple sign-ins. You can, of course log into Facebook etc, as well as create a Roamz account for more options if you so choose, but I spent my first few hours with the app just playing around and checking out what folks were up to in my area.
For an pessimistic and seasoned app reviewer like myself, that is rather surprising.
Roamz has an extremely attractive timeline that feels right at home on iPhone, and looks particularly good, and I liked the fact that it has the same ‘swipe to menu’ feature that the iOS Facebook app has, as if frees up a lot of screen real estate. The only obvious thing missing here is an augmented reality function, which would be really cool with all these networks being used.
If you do log into the app with Facebook, you can start posting your own Roamz entries, and share them on the main social networks, along with a pinned map location and optional photo and status. This does solve the problem of people simply using Facebook’s check in service, as you can utilise the other networks.
In fact, I would guess that is where Roamz will find its place- as a solution to people not wanting to let go of things like Foursquare and forced to use Facebook simply because everyone else they know is using it. Roamz lets you post to them all, and also provides a great, cross network view of what is happening around you.
So, if you use multiple networks, then Roamz comes highly recommended as a very nice tool to help you bridge the gap. However, if you only use Facebook, then you may be better off just sticking with the standard Facebook check in options, and only using Roamz if you want to get a really good feel of what is happening outside the walls of the main social network. The fact that you can search for bars and coffee places etc, is another reason for Facebook users to choose this, however.
If, like me you are somewhere in between, then I would recommend giving Roamz a spin, as it is great fun to use and gives you such a good cross section view of your surroundings that few other apps can give you. The hot place feature is a lovely idea, especially when combined with the range of notification options, and the whole app has a nice quality sheen to it.