In a surprising move, location-based networking service Gowalla launched an update that integrates check-ins for rival Foursquare. Gowalla 3.0 for iPhone which was released earlier today, now lets users link their Foursquare and Facebook accounts to their Gowalla account, enabling them to check-in and keep track of friend’s activities on all three services at the same time.

Aside from the integration of Foursquare and Facebook check-ins, Gowalla 3.0 also includes a lot of changes and improvements not only to the design and layout but also new additional features. The user interface has been totally redesigned, including a new color scheme which is the only thing I don’t like in this update. The check-in button is no longer hidden under the Spots tab and can now be easily accessed from the toolbar. Gowalla 3.0 now also supports sharing and posting to Tumblr.

Gowalla 3.0Gowalla 3.0

Gowalla 3.0Gowalla 3.0

Gowalla 3.0

Other cool new features included in Gowalla 3.0 is the addition of the Highlights, Notes and Bookmark features. Previously, these features were only available from the Gowalla website. Highlights is a feature that lets users tell friends about their favorite spots (Best Cup, Best Live Music, Celebrity Sighting, Date Night, Guilty Pleasure, etc.). Notes is a feature that lets users leave notes (instructions, tips, etc.) on any location for themselves or for friends. Once a note is made, an email will be sent to the recipient with instructions where (location) to pick it up and the note will be received when they check in to that location. Bookmarks is simply for bookmarking/saving favorite spots and for easy access in the future.

For someone who uses Gowalla, Foursquare and Facebook, I’m very happy with this new update. Now, if I want to check-in to a location I don’t have to open different apps. I can check-in to all three services right from my Gowalla app. I love everything about the Gowalla 3.0 update and all the different features that come with it except for the new interface color scheme because it looks dull. They should’ve kept the old color scheme or a better option would be to allow users to choose from different color schemes.

Gowalla 3.0 requires iOS 3.1 and is now available for download in the App store for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Which location-based networking service do you use – Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt or SVNGR? Anyone here using Gowalla? What do you think of Gowalla’s latest update and Foursquare integration? Please share your thoughts.

[image source: Gowalla]

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