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Gigwalk Hands-On: How to Earn Cash with Your iPhone

Foursquare and Yelp can place you on a map and show you the nearest dining, drinking, and entertainment options, but what if you're looking to make some money rather than part with it? We recently learned about a new service that sets itself apart from other GPS-leveraging apps by offering users opportunities to earn cash.

Called Gigwalk, this app aims to turn "people's smartphones into a second paycheck." By collecting and verifying information about local businesses, users can make anywhere from $3 to $30—or more, depending on the task at hand and how quickly it must be completed. Gigwalk is currently available in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and South Florida. Since we live in the Big Apple, we decided to take the app for a spin.

To use this app, first download it for free from the Mac App Store (no word on whether Gigwalk will be available for Android and other platforms down the line). Once we created an account and signed in, we clicked on the magnifying glass on the top of the screen, which took us to a map. Gigwalk quickly identified our current location and displayed nearby gigs with red pinpoints (see image).

In midtown Manhattan, there was no shortage of gigs to choose from. However, not all gigs are available to Gigwalk novices; you must complete some lower-level gigs and earn "Streetcred" for doing quality work before you can "unlock" the higher-paying ones.

The first available gig we found was for Zengo, a restaurant in Midtown East. By clicking on the restaurant's pinpoint, we learned that the gig consisted of answering eight questions and taking eight photos—and that the completed job would pay $3. To claim the gig, we simply pressed "Start Working." Note that you must be at or near the gig in question to claim it.

Our gig consisted of providing basic information about the restaurant, such as its opening hours and whether it offers delivery. Additionally, Gigwalk asked to take a few photos of the interior and exterior. Answering the questions and snapping the photos took about 20 minutes.

After completing the gig, we were prompted to submit our work. After uploading our photos and answers, the app confirmed that we had completed our first gig and that it would now be reviewed by the "customer." (We weren't clear on who exactly commissioned this particular assignment.) If our work is approved, we can expect to receive our $3 within a week via PayPal.

If you have an iPhone and some spare time (and could use some extra cash), Gigwalk is worth a try. While we can't imagine devoting much of our precious free time to completing gigs, we appreciate the app's novel twist on location-based services. Rather than just showing you what's nearby, Gigwalk offers you opportunities to make some pocket change, and its interface is attractive, straightforward, and simple.