Foursquare Archive

Foursquare App Undergoes Radical Change

We can debate on direction that Foursquare is trying to take but make no mistake:  Foursquare wants to be the app you use to discover places and things no matter where you are in the world.  The updated Foursquare app for iPhone reflects that in a dramatic, new user experience that will take long time Foursquare users a while to get use to using.  In fact if you are anything like me, you may find it a bit frustrating.

When you update or install the new Foursquare app you will be prompted by the app to let it know your tastes and preferences.  You do this by tapping provided keywords that reflect things around you or things that you have rated in the past.  These keywords help Foursquare determine what discoveries to provide to you when you use the app.  These can be very broad in nature (like “Spanish Food”) to very specific (“Chicken Paella”).  Once you have tapped in these keywords, the Foursquare app then presents its new and radically different user experience.

Foursquare for iPhone – Free – Download Now

Dear Foursquare, I hate Foursquare Swarm

Dear Foursquare,

I have had the pleasure of writing reviews and opinions on all things mobile for over 10 years now.  I’ve enjoyed it and for the most part, it has been a positive experience.  Apps have come a long way in that time and when I started, social networking didn’t even exist.

When you came out with your service in 2009 it took me a while to jump on admittedly but once I did, it became my addiction.  I checked in everywhere and the fun of earning that mayorship or getting a new badge made it all the better.  Then earlier this year you decided to launch Foursquare Swarm.  And in one shot you made Foursquare less fun.  And after several months of using Swarm, I’m here to tell you that I positively hate it.  With vigour and passion.  I. Hate. It.

Foursquare Releasing Swarm App Today

Talk about a tease!  Foursquare has released an update to their app this morning and it is essentially a Release Notes update only, highlighting the new Swarm app they will be launching later today and what they will be doing with the Foursquare app this summer.

Foursquare App Update Brings A New Look & New Features

The check-in everywhere and become the mayor of it social networking service Foursquare has updated their iPhone app with a new look & feel along with some nice new features.  The Foursquare app is now up to version 7 and the biggest change you will notice is the UI.  Yes it has the flattened iOS 7 look but they have also redesigned the app’s overall look.  Gone is the map on the front page when you start the Foursquare app for example and instead, a clean list of your friends and their latest check-ins.  You will also see any photos they have taken with their latest check-in in this Twitter-esque

Foursquare App for iPhone

Foursquare App for iPhone

timeline view.

The other big change in the Foursquare app is a deeper level of location awareness of the app.  Now when you arrive at a new location Foursquare will tell you things that you need to know about that location and you do not even have to have the app open for it to do so.  It’s a great way to find out about a special going on at a venue or what the best drink is at the bar you just stepped into.

Finally, the What’s Nearby feature of the app has been updated to be a bit more random so you get a larger swath of tips, specials and the like.

Foursquare seems to be one of those social networks that people either love – I’m in the camp – or not so much.  It is all about sharing – your location, your likes, your activities – amongst a group of friends.  The more friends, the more fun and the more places you go the more opportunities you have to be the mayor of that location (i.e. you have checked in there the most).  It’s a bit competitive, it is a bit social networking and it is a bit of business.  Several businesses here in the London area offer big discounts to the Foursquare mayor when they arrive at a location & the app will tell you about those discounts when you arrive and check in (For you business owners out there, check out Foursquare for Business)

Foursquare is a free service but does require you have an account which is also free.  The Foursquare app is for iPhone and this latest update is available now in the App Store.

Foursquare – Free – Download Now

Foursquare App Update Brings Nearby Feature

The Foursquare app for iOS has been updated with a few bug fixes and improvements but also a new Nearby feature in the social networking app.  The new Nearby feature now allows you to quickly see which of your friends on Foursquare are nearby so you can meet up with them.

The Nearby feature for restaurants, bars and other locales has been in Foursquare for a while now but this new ability to find friends easier is an improvement on the feature.  This, coupled with the new ability to find a friend’s latest check-in with Foursquare, can make those impromptu meet ups for a coffee or beer quick and easy.

For those who have not tried Foursquare or are not familiar with it, it is a social networking app that allows you to check into locations.  Those locations can have specials for you when you check in (such as a discount for a restaurant) or if you become the mayor of that location (the one with the most check-ins.  I for example am the mayor of my local pub 😀 ).  It is great if you live in a large metro area and have a lot of friends on the service as you can see who is really checking in where and what they are up to.  Friendly stalking in some ways, great way to get restaurant and hotel information as well as users can post information, tips and reviews within the app in other ways.

Foursquare is a free app and service but does require you create an account.

Foursquare – Free – Download Now

Foursquare Update Brings Greater Notification Control

Foursquare, the popular social networking check-in service, has updated their app for iPhone that brings you more control over your notification settings.  The update, which is now available in the App Store, you can adjust when you see notifications from friends and family on the service.  The settings are found under your Profile in the app and allow you to make the following changes.

  • Choose “ALWAYS” for close friends and family you always want to keep up with. You’ll get notifications for all their check-ins, no matter where they are in the world
  • Choose “NEARBY” for friends you’d like to hear about from time to time. We’ll only notify you when they’re close by.
  • Choose “OFF” for those acquaintances you don’t really want updates from. And that bike messenger friend who checks in at every spot on his route.

There are no other changes or update to this release noted by Foursquare.

Foursquare is a free app and is a free service but to use the app you will need an account which is also free-of-charge.

Foursquare – Free – Download Now

Localscope 3.1 for iOS is Now Free

On the second anniversary of Localscope, Cynapse makes Localscope a free download on the App Store. Localscope’s unmatched location discovery experience lets users browse local information from diverse services in an amazingly intuitive list view with realtime direction pointers and distance meters, lay them out on the map, or look through the state of the art augmented reality view to spot the results in the real world. The entire Localscope experience is now available to consume geo-tagged information from 5 key services: Google, Facebook Places, Panoramio, YouTube and the Reminders app for free.

The new Localscope Premium provides all additional services from the ever growing list of integrations with diverse geo-Localscope Screenshotinformation and social media services including Foursquare, Instagram, Wikipedia and more. Localscope premium also provides integration with a large number of paid navigation apps such as Tom Tom, Navigon and others for turn by turn directions. Localscope Premium is available as an in-app purchase at an annual price of US$1.99 or equivalent in other currencies.

“Two years and 22 versions after its initial release, we and many of our users think that local discovery using Localscope has evolved to become one of the best things that one can do using the iPhone. We have decided to make Localscope free as we feel a strong urge to bring this value to every iPhone user in the world and not just the ones who pay us before they experience it.” said Apurva Roy Choudhury, CEO Cynapse. “While Localscope with 5 key integrated services can be now be used for free by anyone in the world with an iOS device, the Localscope Premium paid subscription provides a broader set of local information from a continuously increasing portfolio of integrations with diverse services.”

In appreciation of the support from Localscope users who have paid to download the app prior to v3.1, Cynapse is providing them with an exclusive lifetime Premium subscription. The upgrade will be automatic when users update to v3.1 and the full set of services will continue to be available to them forever.

With v3.1, Localscope also adds integrations with even more navigation apps including the brand new Google Maps app. A complete list of What’s New in v3.1 is available on the App Store.

Localscope – Free – Download Now

Foursquare cautiously and clearly changes privacy policy

In light of the recent uproar over the privacy and policy changes at Instagram, apps that provide services are, understandably, treading cautiously with any terms, conditions and privacy changes going forward.  Instagram suffered an almost instant backlash publicly but it seems debatable how much real damage was done to the company with their recent snafu.

Yesterday Foursquare sent out an email to all of its members highlighting changes that are coming in 2013 to the social networking app and service.  The email lays out in plain English the changes that are coming and where you can read all of the detailed legal bits should you want to do so.

The first change to come 28 January is that your full name will be displayed, not just your first name and last initial.  The email explains that, “Currently, Foursquare sometimes shows your full name and sometimes shows your first name and last initial (“John Smith” vs. “John S.”). For instance, if you search for a friend in Foursquare, we show their full name in the results, but when you click through to their profile page you don’t see their last name.”

The second change is for businesses on Foursquare.  This change means that businesses on Foursquare will be able to see who checked in to their location over the course of a day, not just the past 3 hours (the current limit).  As an individual user you can of course opt out so a business won’t see your check-in.

The full policy can be found on the Foursquare website but it is clear that the afterglow of the Instagram debacle has made companies think carefully and clearly about policy changes.  Having read over the policy I don’t see anything alarming but your mileage may vary.

Foursquare gets major update with all-new UI for iPhone

The popular social networking-meets-geo tagging app Foursquare has received a major update today.  The new version 5.0 is available in the App Store now and brings a completely rethought and reengineered User Interface.  On the surface, it looks like the new UI is the only major change over the previous version but there is an underlying theme going on with the app now that, while there before, is a bit clearer.

Ultimately Foursquare is about going out in the world and exploring with you indicating your location with a “check-in”.  This principle hasn’t changed with this update but exploring is really a key driver for the app.  Within the app there is the Explore tab which shows you a map which has popular locations in your area based on other Foursquare check-ins or has Foursquare Explore Tabspecials from retailers in the area.  This can be a particularly handy feature if you are somewhere that you do not know well and are looking for a coffee shop or a place to eat.

Make no mistake that Foursquare is still all about the check in.  That is the user data pool that Foursquare uses so it is still the #1 point and purpose of the app.  The revamped exploring however makes those check-ins a little more fun.

The new Foursquare app is a free download and is available now in the App Store.  It is still an iPhone-only build which is a bit disappointing given the 3G/4G and WiFi capabilities of the iPad.  It would be great to see an iPad specific version in the future.  Still, this new 5.0 version renders much better on the iPad and is far easier to read & navigate.

Get foursquare – Free Download