Loopt was the first location-based iPhone app to get a lot of buzz. It’s a social network that lets you keep track of where your friends are with the help of the iPhone’s GPS. Since it launched in the App Store on day 1 in July of last year, several other competitors have come along including Google with its Latitude service (though it’s not yet available on the iPhone). Now Loopt appears ready to strike back with Loopt 2.0.
The screenshot we received appears to show what Loopt is going for with this new version. The second button in the toolbar is now “Places,” something which didn’t exist before. A source close to the company says this is a big part of the new version. We hear this could help the company offer more monetizable features, such as coupons.
Another thing we’re hearing is that the focus with Loopt 2.0 will be on something called the “life graph.” Basically this takes your social graph, and lays it on top of the places you go to give you suggestions on what to do. If this sounds familiar, it’s what Foursquare, the new service from the creators of Dodgeball (acquired by Google in 2005) has been working on. Another competitor, Whrrl, launched in the App Store last year with more of a focus on places, but recently revamped its offering to focus around social stories.
The new version of Loopt is apparently still being worked on, but should be out this summer, we hear.
One thing to note, is that it appears that one of the largest hurdle will remain for Loopt on the iPhone, as apps still cannot run in the background. That’s vital for something like a location-based network that thrives off of knowing where you are. But perhaps the company has something interesting planned for the upcoming Push Notification feature of the iPhone 3.0 software due this summer.
Disclosure: Loopt offers a TechCrunch branded version of the service here.