Loopt, the Mountain View, Calif.-based location-based mobile social network, said its service, which became well-known after launching on the iPhone, is now launching on the Android Market on the T-Mobile G1. Although Loopt is just one application, the move could signal that the Android has reached a critical mass, or developers believe it will. Just last month, I asked the question whether developers had enough resources to build applications for the iPhone, and emerging OS’s, like Android. It seemed like a valid question since a lot of the well-known apps on the iPhone, like Loopt, Facebook, Pandora and others had not made the move to the G1.
Perhaps, with Loopt’s launch, things will change, as an inherent part of the service is that it can be available to everyone. Loopt users share their location with each other, so that friends can meet up spontaneously, or people can find others nearby who may have similar interests. Sam Altman, co-founder and CEO of Loopt, told a story recently about how he linked up with some of his neighbors who also had an interest in riding bikes, through Loopt, even though they were complete strangers. Of the 11 people who ride bikes together, he said 10 have profile pictures, and seven of those 10 use a picture with him in it.
Loopt now supports more than 100 handsets, including the iPhone and the Blackberry, and can be found on carriers such as AT&T (NYSE: T), Sprint (NYSE: S), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Boost, MetroPCS and T-Mobile. Although I don’t see the Loopt application yet in the Android Market, the company said the experience offers the core features, including background location updating which enables users to receive alerts when a friend is nearby. Users can also switch between map modes for a satellite view of their friend map or to monitor traffic delays. Loopt also lets users easily share their information with sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or personal blogs and Web sites.