Trover started out as a picture and location-based iPhone/Android travel planning app. Now it’s on the web, too, shifting its focus from travel pics to pure eye candy. My review of the Android app is below.
I looked at it on Android. There are complaints on the Play Store about some instability issues, but it was stable on my device.
You open up the app or go to the web site and see thumbnails of pictures taken near you. As you scroll down, you move further away from your location — as measured in miles. Click on a thumbnail and up pops a larger version, a map, icons to mark it on your list of favorites and a Thank You button. Better than a Like button. Nice gesture.
There is also a description of the photo, but most of these are so thin they are practically useless for travel information.
The page also links you to other so-called discoveries nearby and similar subject matter. You can start your own lists based on your interests or adventures. There are collections of parachute jumps, fresh markets and photos from Burning Man.
One food shot pointed me to a list titled “Bacon. Just Bacon.”
You can, of course, take a picture with your phone and post it to the app, or upload it from your PC. Trover can also be integrated with Facebook and Twitter.
Trover is mildly curated. Like Pinterest, some great photography gets nudged to the top. I liked the search function that locates pics in some 175 countries. Some of the places are pretty exotic.
I looked up an island in Fiji and village in Nepal. I found both.
I would love to see Trover shimmy back to its original purpose: a photo-based travel guide. Maybe with a larger user base that could happen by itself. I would love to visit a new place, sit down in the town square, size it up visually and learn something about it. The travel experience is, after all, visual and sensual … the pursuit of dreams.
There are augmented reality apps that accomplish what Trover does not, those that incorporate Instagram, Wikipedia, Foursquare and other location-based info. But for now, they are way too fiddly for normal folk, and certainly not as eye-catching as Trover.
The travel planning and review space is as crowded as Chicago O’Hare late afternoon. A service like this needs to be not just good, but amazing, to reach a critical mass of users in this space. And then there’s this issue. Will right-brained photographers post left-brained travel tips? Will people really use Trover to plan their travel? Not so much. But that isn’t a bad thing.
If you like the idea of a location-based Pinterest for places as opposed to a travel guide, check out my review, below. It’s far from perfect, but Trover is worth exploring. And it is free.
Platforms: Apple iOS, Android