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Where Are You? - Loopt

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 4/4/2009
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The Loopt iPhone application may seem like fun, but how useful is it?

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    Unconventional Communication

    New technology has opened up the possibility for communication between people. The old options of phone, mail, and email are now eclipsed by things like instant messaging and social networking websites. This makes mobile phones themselves have the need to step up their options beyond their original purposes. Now the iPhone has made available Loopt, which takes you one step farther beyond regular distance communication.

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    GPS Tool

    Loopt uses the GPS abilities of the iPhone to help you find your friends’ location on a larger map. The program allows you to add friends to also have Loopt and from there receive information from them. Much like websites as Facebook or MySpace, you create somewhat of a profile except now the purpose is to show your exact location. From here you can see your other friends’ locations and information about them that they may have posted.

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    Snooping Fun

    This program can be a lot of fun, especially when you want to see what friends and family are doing before you attempt to contact them. In a way this feels like an amazing development in your phone that now allows you to actually track people.

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    Down Side

    Beyond the fact that this is an amazing invasion of privacy for many people, the program has a number of flaws. First off you have to have an acceptable phone to even have Loopt. This means that ninety percent, or more, of your contacts will not even have access to this application and therefore will not be able to be one of your friends. From this population they then must download the application and also add you as a friend, lowering the possible number even further. It is true that you can add people that are not already in your phonebook, but the chances that someone would want you as their Loopt friend but do not know you well enough to call is slim. This fact aside, the map that is used to actually show the location of people is slow to load at best. Often times it fails to load up period, rendering the program completely useless.

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    Still Free

    Since Loopt is free you can try it out with really no risk. In the end you have to decide if it is worth having in your phone, and if you really want people to see where you are at all times. Four out of ten stars.