Blog Post

Aloqa's LBS iPhone App Just Misses the Mark


From Loopt to FourSquare, it seems like every mobile-focused startup these days wants to hop on board the location-based application train. Aloqa launched an iPhone version of its free Android and BlackBerry application last week (the startup’s CEO, Sanjeev Agrawal, spoke during a panel at our recent Mobilize conference).

Like Geodelic, Aloqa helps you find nearby points of interest — what it calls “channels” — that you can customize according to your preferences. For example, if you’d rather get a cup of coffee from Peet’s than from Starbucks or another cafe, you can subscribe to the Peet’s channel. You’re then a tap away from pulling up a map that will guide to the store location you want to visit.


After trying out Aloqa for a week, I think it’s a solid LBS app but wish that its channels included more drilled-down points of interest. We recently moved our office to the SOMA neighborhood, an area of San Francisco with which I’m still not terribly familiar. I struggled to find a place to grab a quick salad for lunch using Aloqa and wound up using my Google Maps application instead.

While Aloqa has a channel that lists nearby Yelp-reviewed restaurants, none of them offered the type of food I was looking for and none of them did takeout. (I admittedly had not looked at the fast food channel). What Aloqa did help me find was a nearby ATM for my bank and a Starbucks store closer to the one I was originally going to, which are definite pluses. There’s also a channel that notifies you when one of your Facebook friends is nearby, but only one of my friends has installed Aloqa on their phone so this hasn’t proven to be a helpful feature.

Aloqa just launched this summer, so there’s still room for improvement; hopefully we’ll soon see channels on it that point to more disaggregated points of interest. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup received $1.5 million in Series A funding this July from Wellington Partners and angel investors.

5 Responses to “Aloqa's LBS iPhone App Just Misses the Mark”

  1. Jennifer, thanks for the great idea of a salad channel.

    After reading your article I immediately created a channel called “Salad Places”. The channel is live so you can add it to your phone by visiting our channel store (on iPhone: Select “Add channels”, on Android/Blackberry/J2ME: Press Menu and select “Add”). Please check it out and tell me how you like the new channel.

    You can also create your own channels for Aloqa via our Publisher API at

    Looking forward to your ideas for channels. We’d love to get your feedback on Aloqa via [email protected], since Aloqa is just getting started.

    • Jennifer Martinez

      Thanks, Johannes! It’d be great if there was a channel for delis and takeout places, too, for people on the run. I’ll be sure to try out the salad channel and let you know what I think.