Most location-based sharing apps center the sharing activity around the idea of checking in at a location. Trover takes a different approach by focusing sharing on pictures. Previously only available for the iPhone, the free Trover app is now available for Android.
The idea behind Trover is that when you see something interesting at a location, snap a picture, add a note, and post it on the Trover web site. Users discover interesting things by browsing pictures that were taken near their location.
I tested the application by installing it on my Nexus S, and the first thing I tried is the Nearby function to see pictures taken near my home. The first problem I encountered is that Nearby demands the GPS be enabled on the phone, which is pointless if you are using the phone indoors. It does not appear that the GPS is the only way which the app determines the location because after I enable the GPS it quickly displayed a grid of pictures.
Unfortunately the Android version of Trover very unstable, and I have not been able to display any details behind any of the thumbnail pictures in the grid. I can see details of items in the feed and featured sections of the app. Ever time I tap a thumbnail in the nearby section I end up seeing a blank screen, and eventually Android displays a force close message.
Next I tested the sharing function of Trover by tapping the large plus button at the center of the app’s home screen. You can either use the camera to take a picture and share it or select a picture from the Android photo gallery.
After you take a picture or select one from the gallery you select which portion of the picture to use. Next you enter the city or address of the picture, or tap Next to use the location shown on the map. Trover then displays a list of places near the location you entered and if the place you are at is not listed you can begin typing its name and the the app starts searching as you type.
While the instant search feature is intended to help speed data entry, I again encountered problems that resulted in a force close. After you select the place where you took the picture you type in a brief description about the picture and then share the result.
Trover appears to provide a fun way to share and discover places near a given location, but right now the Android version of Trover is too buggy for me to recommend it. If you have an iPhone and are interested in trying out Trover, I expect that version to not be as buggy, although I have not personally tested it.
If you still want to try Trover on your Android phone, you can get it for free in the Android Market, and hopefully the developers will quickly release an update that addresses the app’s problems.