If you’ve been waiting for the next volley in the battle to become the location-based service, or if you’ve been suffering from check-in fatigue between all these networks and games, Gowalla has some good news for you.
Released Thursday morning, Gowalla 3.0 for iPhone takes a big step towards ending the location-based services battle. The new version can link your Foursquare and Facebook accounts to your Gowalla account so you can check in to all three services at once. Plus, you can also use Gowalla 3.0 as a dashboard to view your friends’s check-ins from all three services, though as far as I can tell, things like Facebook Deals (coupons offered when you check into specific businesses) are not displayed. If those discounts are a big draw for using these services, you may still need to switch to the Facebook app to nab them.
Gowalla 3.0 also made some big improvements to its actual check-in process. The check-in button is now always accessible from the bottom toolbar (no longer hidden under the Spots tab), and you no longer have to wait for the app to find your location and present a list of nearby businesses before drafting a message to post. In addition to sharing your posts on Twitter and Facebook, Gowalla 3.0 now supports posting to Tumblr as well.
The Highlights, Notes, and Bookmarks features also received some attention. Highlights, a way to tell friends what your favorite spots are for things like “Date Night” or “Best Live Music,” are now viewable, and you can add your highlights right from the iPhone app (instead of having to use Gowalla.com in a traditional browser). You can now leave notes on any location for yourself or a friend (“try the chef’s pasta special!”), and bookmark your favorite spots or places you hope to visit someday.
Gowalla stuffed a bunch of other new features and improvements into this version, which is why the company boasts that it’s the most significant update it’s ever released. Gowalla 3.0 requires iOS 3.1, and it’s available now in the App Store for iPhone and iPod touch. Note, however, that the iPad version is separate and, as of this writing, not yet updated with these new features.