Check-ins are the new microblogs. While services like Twitter and Facebook let you share your latest thoughts with your friends in a few short characters, apps like Foursquare and Gowalla have made a name for themselves by letting you “check in” to a physical location with your phone. You can stop by your favorite bar, restaurant, clothing store, library or any other location and let the world know you’ve been there — not by pulling out a can of spraypaint and tagging the walls, but by clicking a button on your phone.

The only problem is that there’s a growing number of ways to check-in, and who wants to fire up their Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, and Gowalla apps to check-in to every network?

Gowalla has launched a new version of its mobile app today which makes things a lot simpler, because you can check-in to multiple networks all from one face. This might seem a bit counter-intuitive since on the face of things, Gowalla competes with Foursquare. But it could actually be a pretty smart move, since now you don’t have to choose between the two services. You can just link your Foursqare and Facebook accounts to Gowalla, along with Twitter and/or Tumblr and send updates to contacts on all of those networks at once.

The new app also adds support for bookmarks and notes, which let you leave a note for yourself or a friend. That way your friend can find your note next time they check-in at a location.

Gowalla 3 for the iPhone is available as a free download from the App Store. Updates for the company’s iPad, Android, and BlackBerry apps should be available soon.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...