Did you know that there are 518 photography apps in Apple's App Store? (I checked this evening.) And that there are 222 paid-for photography apps in the Android Marketplace? That's a lot of photography-related technology floating around attempting to sidle its way into our lives. If something is going to take off and make it onto our screens and stay there, it needs to be a bit special, a bit different. Your average photo-sharing or photo-editing app just won't cut it. So I'm holding out a bit more hope than usual for Wander, which does seem to have the requisite degree of different.
I suppose that you could think of Wander as being a more technologically sophisticated version of having a pen-pal. Someone from half a world away will pop up on your screen and if you want, you can connect and then begin to share daily life and where you live through daily photo challenges over the course of a week. Maybe you'll enjoy lunch together or explore how you travel pictorially.
Your pal, or guide, might be from one of 80 countries, and the chances are that you'll begin to want to talk about things in more depth and learn more about their lives. To help that along there's linguistic support for English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
Right now, Wander is only available on the iPhone, but an Android version is on its way. The app is free to download and getting started is simple. You have to answer a few basic questions - after all, you probably don't want to be offered a connection with someone ten miles up the road - and that's it. There's a whole new world waiting to be discovered, all through pictures on your phone.