Let’s give a warm round of applause to the Appscar winner for Best Finance App: Mint.com Personal Finance. Today’s category asks the academy to vote on Location, arguably one of the hottest categories of apps since the game. You nominated them, now it’s time to name a winner among Foursquare, Layar, LineSnob, Loopt, and Yelp.
Foursquare: In less than two years, this location-based service/game/social network has gathered 4.5 million users. The free app works on Android, iOS, BlackBerry, webOS, and even Ovi phones. It allows you to check into your favorite locales, find new hangouts, locate your friends, and get tips from real users. Check out our essential 10 tips for more advice on making the most of this hot service.
Layar Reality Browser: Go beyond the layers in Google Maps with this augmented reality app that displays nearby POIs right on top of your camera’s live view. You’ll get Google local search, real estate listings, Wikipedia, Yelp reviews, and other sets of data to help you get more than just your bearings. It is available for Android and iPhone, and the beta of version 5.0 for Android includes the option to share info with friends and adds animation effects to the layers.
Line Snob: Another social network/game location-based app, Line Snob for iPhone helps you avoid long waits by combining user-submitted data with venue-generated information. Because your time is valuable, and because you want to help others avoid the pain of 30-minute waits at Shake Shack, you can use this free app to post comments and pictures from the line, share info with Facebook and Twitter, and even earn points with every post (which moves you up the feudal ladder of the game).
Loopt: Want to know what fun things are happening in your area? Loopt makes it easy to find out and then invite friends along. This free app–which works with Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7–features an attractive interface and the ability to share info via Facebook and Twitter. In the latest version, the company added location-aware text messaging (or Pings) and a simplified automatic location sharing area where you can tell a close subset of friends when you move around town.
Yelp: Whether you’re looking for a dog kennel, drug store, or restaurant, Yelp is loaded with user reviews. Launching the free app let us leverage our GPS location to search for almost anything nearby and view a feed of local destinations that were recently reviewed. Click on a review to see what others have said about a business, or write your own. Most recently, this app added check-in rewards as an incentive for return customers who use their iPhone or Android device to check in.
The polls are open from now until Thursday, February 10 at 9:00 a.m. Did we forget someone? Feel free to add write-ins in the comments section below. Then tune in tomorrow for the Sports App category.