myKite is the Brightkite application for BlackBerry. Previously known as “BrightBerry” when it was in Beta, the MyKite app is a social networking tool geared to simplify meeting people based on the places you go. The fact that it ties into other existing social networks — like Twitter and Facebook — means myKite will compliment, instead of compete with, those more popular social networking tools.
iPhone users have had a dedicated Brightkite application since October 2008. I’ve had a chance to use myKite for BlackBerry since it was officially released last week. Does the free application translate well to the BlackBerry platform? Does it deserve space on your BlackBerry?
Well, Let’s just see…
Once you install the free application, you’ll need to go ahead and set up a free Brightkite account — if you don’t already have one. After that simple step, you are able to set your location using your device’s GPS. If any of your friends or social networking contacts (c’mon, how many of your Facebook and Twitter friends do you really know??) also have a Brightkite account, you can add them to view and share updates as well as “see” other Brightkite users/friends who are nearby.
If you want to let people in your networks know what you are up to, you can easily post photos and notes that can notify friends where you are (the photo and/or note will include a link for a map that shows your location). While this is a nice feature — and I can certainly see it coming in handy if you’re traveling and want to spontaneously meet up with someone in your network. Personally, that’s probably not going to be a feature I can see myself really using. Because that can be rather, erm, stalkerish. Hey, I see you’re at the corner of 5th and 6th avenue. Right. This. Second. Want to grab some coffee? Why are you leaving?
I’m kidding, no one can actually “track you” real-time using myKite. The application let you maintain control over your privacy. The use of GPS and Location Based Services, or LBS, should become more prevalent in social networking and mobile applications in general. The ability to know “what” and “who” is around you at any time is a feature that truly makes use of the mobile platform.
That little phone/computer in your pocket? It’s now your friend-finder and map. It shows where you are. In this respect, myKite does a very good job in bringing these location-based social networking features to the BlackBerry. I do like that I can easily send a note or photo and have it update Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin (among other social networking profiles supported through the Brightkite service). I just don’t know if it’s “too late” when you put myKite up against other applications that can do the same type of thing.
Take UberTwitter as an example of a BlackBerry app that also allows you to conveniently share location based information to Twitter (as well as Facebook) in addition to your “status” and photos. Both applications are free. Will someone pick myKite over UberTwitter? myKite does do aa good job integrating both social networking with location-based services, it is also another service/application/network to participate in. If you have a lot of contacts who also use the Brightkite service, then you’re going to get more use out of the application. If you do not, however, have others in your existing social network using myKite or another Brightkite app on their mobile, then the app is not going to be that beneficial.
Where I see the Brightkite service — and hopefully the myKite BlackBerry application — truly shining is when it begins incorporating augmented reality features. This will be something iPhone and Android users will see long before BlackBerry users. That’s not a limitation of the myKite app or the Brightkite service — just the current BlackBerry OS.
This is all, of course, just my own personal opinion 😉 I’d love to hear from people who are using the myKite app — or even the Brightkite service, in general — to hear if and why they prefer it over other apps.
Summary of myKite’s Features:
* View and navigate your streams (Friends, Nearby, Universe, Mentions, and User)
* Post a Note to your current location
* Check in to Placemarks
* Send and receive Direct Messages
* View and post comments on a post
* Posting photos from camera capture and media viewer
* Sending and responding to Friend Requests
* Creation of Placemarks
* Viewing a Place Stream
* Blackberry OS 4.5.0
* Not currently compatible with the BlackBerry Storm 🙁
MSRP: Free! Get myKite at BlackBerry App World — or right here at the Gear Diary Software Store.
What I Liked: I like the integration of GPS/Location Based features with social networking. myKite updates Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and quite a few other social network profiles. You can locate contacts in your area who also use the Brightkite service. The application is free.
What Needs Improvement: The myKite BlackBerry app does little to differentiate itself from other BlackBerry applications that have very similar features (like UberTwitter). You have to sign up for yet another social network account (the Brightkite service) to use the application.
[ Brightkite ]