Developer Cynapse has been working hard to to bring it's location browser Localscope to a new major update. Recently recognised in Apple's Rewind feature as one of the best navigation apps of the year, this new update brings integration with social services including Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Flickr.
When I first tested the app, it only pulled results from Google and Bing, Twitter and Foursquare, which seems like nothing compared with the current option, but was enough to get my recommendation. As social services get more location-aware, your timelines get different perspectives and filtering using location can give you a more meaningful way to go through hundreds of posts and status updates.
Cynapse claims that the new version will help users to re-discover places they're already familiar with, not just to explore new locations. The way I see it, is that the new "Discover" tab is a window open to your neighbourhood, a place to explore and quite frankly, spend some precious time!
This reminds me a lot to things like Trover, Oink and other location-based discovery apps or micro social networks. The difference with Localscope is that it doesn't ask users to upload pictures or post information, it simply pics it from the feeds from others. The approach works as a simple way to access location based information, but it's also evident that Instagram and Panoramio cannot be searched, they're only browsable.
Back in April, I highlighted the convenience of being able to search quickly across different sources using Localscope. The new update includes some changes under the hood but the user experience is the same: Type what you need, select your source and view the results with all the different info depending on the service used. It could be nice to be able to set a limit for the results displayed, so the Map and Augmented reality view aren't as cluttered.
Localscope is a pleasure to use and navigating through the new sources using location is proving to be very entertaining already. My only complain is that the gesture to open and hide a map with your location gets easily confused with the swipe down that brings Notification Center to the front. I haven't been able to try this with other GPS driving apps that are compatible (TomTom, Navigon, MotionX), but if you already own those, Localscope would be a great companion too.