Spectacular and a little spooky; Ban.jo, an iOS/Android app that launched last summer, is startling in what it’s able to give the user: the realtime whereabouts of any friends who have location services active for any of (now five) different social media platforms.
Ban.jo is pretty simple to use, in part thanks to its just-updated interface. Even before adding social networks, users can see other users close by who have location services turned on for one of the five networks — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google and Foursquare, the latter three being added in the new update. You can see how the service works via the web-based simulation here.
The real fun begins after signing in to any of the five services through the Ban.jo app — because once that’s done, you can set alarms that’ll activate if any of your friends come within a definable radius around your location. And because Ban.jo itself doesn’t actually broadcast your location — it merely aggregates and relays locations from the services it links with — your friends don’t have to be logged in to the Ban.jo service for it to work. Just you.
There’re other cool features too, like being able to save images you see on Ban.jo to your iCloud photostream, and viewing nearby updates from the various services — which reminds me a little of Localscope.