If you’re an avid “check-inner” with your iPhone, then you’re in luck. iPhone and Yelp are joining forces to make it even easier for users to check-in at different locations. Soon users will be able to check-in directly from the maps application instead of having to sign into a different app to inform their virtual network of their whereabouts according to preview materials released to developers about the upcoming iOS 6. Toward the end of the year, Apple also plans to completely replace the Google Maps app on their iPhone and iPad operating systems with a mapping app they’ve developed in-house.
It was already widely known that iOS 6 was going to incorporate Yelp into a few of their features, including the ability to access the app using Siri, everyone’s favorite voice commanded robot. The new Maps app was debuted last week by Apple developer Scott Forstall at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference.
Many see this as an interesting decision on Apple’s part to pair with Yelp instead of Foursquare or Facebook, especially since when released iOS 6 will involve many deeper levels of integration with Facebook. The two websites are the main sources of check-ins for the majority of users who use the GPS-tracked applications. Yelp is not as well known as the other two choices either and Foursquare is facing a special predicament since most Foursquare members use the iPhone app to check-in and follow friends. With the new functionality within the map application, users may start only checking in through that and not logging into Foursquare separately.
Mobile check-ins use GPS technology to allow users to alert others of where they are, see what other users have checked into the same place and whether or not they’re connected on any social media platforms, if there are any deals offered to users who check in, and to publish this information to a variety of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Yelp has allowed users to check-in into various businesses since 2010. They added the feature to try and help local businesses build a loyal base of regular customers. Apple will be an important partner for Yelp seeing as almost half of all visitors to the website visit Yelp via the mobile app.
Some speculate that Apple doesn’t realize the work it takes Google to run their mapping features. Google employs nearly 7,000 people just to keep their map website and app up to date and functioning. Just over a thousand of those are full-time employees. If you subtract Apple’s retail employees, they have about 13,000 employees all together.
Apple has used Google Maps since 2007 when the first iPhones hit the market. The mapping application has become so ingrained with most smartphone users, some might have a hard time adjusting. The Google Maps application is so commonplace, you’ll never find it listed among best Android apps lists or even most used even though most Android and iPhone users actually use it on a daily basis.
Thanks to Evan Fischer for this guest post. He is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.