I have to admit, were it not for Ewan MacLeod’s rant about the likes of Foursquare et al I would have never heard of buddycloud. And that would have been a real shame.
Available right now for mobiles running Nokia’s S60/Symbian OS and coming soon for Android and crippled Internet appliances, buddycloud automates the tedium of manual check-ins. As soon as you “teach” it a particular place — by entering as much or as little detail as you choose to — it uses any combination of cellular towers, GPS, WiFi antennas and even Bluetooth radios to figure out when you’ve returned.
It’s one of those things that makes you wonder why nobody thought of it sooner.
There’s also a handy Explorer tab to help you discover places and users near you. Sadly there isn’t a lot of uptake on buddycloud in my neck of the woods. Come on Toronto, step up!
But I digress — buddycloud is also a social network. You can sign in using your Ovi Mail account (like I did) or pick a unique handle for the service. And like any social network worth its salt, you can post status updates to let other users know what you’re up to.
buddycloud also offers channels — in the same spirit of hashtags on Twitter but far better for mobile devices in their implementation. You don’t have to bother with a hashtag on every message; just open up the channel and text chat there. You can even upload photos to a group, via a quick redirect to a special web page and back. This is put to great use on the buddycloud food channel, for example.
Just like with Mippin I’ve already made Internet friends on buddycloud with a bunch of people I don’t know (though I suspect that the prolific “elisa” is, in fact, a plant). If you want to join the party here, you know where to find me; if not, we’ll keep to ourselves and I promise I won’t spam Twitter with check-ins like Foursquare users so often do.
There, I said it.