Foursquare 8.0: The world without check-ins

testBack in April when Foursquare announced they announced Swarm, which is part of their reconstructing plan. Part of the plan was Swarm and i still could remember that when the company first revealed their plans to TheVerge, the comments were going wild. Everyone seemed to be going against it. Part of the retaliation is that in order to check in Swarm must be installed. The past few months have been quite strategically formed as they first released the app and simultaneously allowed users to choose whether they would like to check in either from Swarm of Foursquare. Soon after that, the second wave forced users to check in from the Swarm app even if they click on the check in button on the Foursquare app, that’s if the user has both apps installed. Nearing the launch of the new Foursqaure (2-3 weeks ago), the final plan was initiated; The update to the Foursquare app saw the timeline of check ins disappear and the app was left with the categories and the lonely check in button on the bottom center of the page.

Foursquare-7.0-android-2014-malaysia
This is how the Foursquare app looks like before today’s major update

The update came out around 12 in the morning, i was about to hit the hay and before that i decided to give twitter a check and as i was scrolling i saw theverge’s post about their foursquare 8.0 review. So yeah i read through it and watched the review video. I was quite weird because there wasn’t any mention about when the app was coming out in the review article, maybe i missed out something. So i then look through the official foursquare twitter handle and found out that the update has already been out for iOS since 20 mins ago and then i was reading through the replies and users were talking about when the android version was coming out and one particular user mentioned that the update is live in germany. So i decided to go to my phone to check the update and to my surprise, the update was there waiting to be installed.

For the most part of today i was using the app and uncovering the hidden secrets. First of all the application does indeed look quite messy if you don’t understand how to use it. Once you get to know the general flow of the app especially the first tab where the core of the new foursquare resides, everything seems to be all right. But i’m still unsure if the implementation of the groups is right, i’ll just have to see how it works after a week of usage.

Apart from the new homepage decked out with cards and categories, Foursqare 8.0 still is foursquare (without the check ins). From my initial look at it, Foursquare seems to be putting tips at the forefront and with this release they are introducing Expertise which is something like the badges and mayors from previous versions. Tips are like the new check ins because the goal of this new Foursquare is to help users look for great places and know as much about the place by reading the tips left by others. And as you write tips, you will gain the Expertise in the certain category and in return your tips will be ranked on top. It’s basically like gaining points for check ins but in a less in-your-face version.

foursquare-8.0-android-iOS-profileOverall the app is looking great and i give credit to the Foursquare team for their hard work in redesigning this application. But i do have some complaints, for example one of the first things which i looked for is how to edit locations and i was quite frustrated. Like the swarm app when it first came out, some of the features were tucked in too deep into the UI and everything blends in too well making it hard to notice. But after some staring i found the edit portion in the venue page under the three dotted more details menu. Another thing which bugged me was that the app looks a lot like a ported iOS app because android apps rarely have that chin tab menus. I would’ve liked to see a little bit of difference in platform styles like how the old foursquare app because asking me an android user to user tabs is not a normal thing. Also, for some reason the tabs on the android app is not labelled whatsoever and on the iOS app the tabs are nicely labelled, form this you can see that they were clearing developing the app on an iPhone.

new4sq

Alongside the new mobile applications, Foursquare has also overhauled their desktop website to make it coherent with the new design language the company is implementing. Speaking of the app, there is something which i extremely liked and that is the venue page, the amount of detail is quite phenomenal. The page is color coordinated and the part which got my attention is the distance. I don’t know how it works but it can approximate the time take for your to walk to the venue and if the distance is too far, it’ll change to the time taken to drive there, real interesting inclusion here.The new Foursquare is now available for both iOS and Android

2014-08-07 22.56-horz

These new tags are based off previous foursquare tips and they will make your foursquare experience more personal
These new tags are based off previous foursquare tips and they will make your foursquare experience more personal
Tips can now have a period of validity, not sure how is this going to work out but we'll just have to see
Tips can now have a period of validity, not sure how is this going to work out but we’ll just have to see
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