Foursquare has taken the first step in bifurcating its service with the release of Swarm, an app that allows you to easily connect with the friends around you. The company decided to remove the feature that allows you to see which friends are checked in where from the core Foursquare app experience, moving that to the new Swarm app.
Within Swarm is a new feature that allows you to make plans with friends. You can see the events and ideas being shared by those you know - no invitations, just a list of your friends offering up various ideas of things to do, that you can join or not.
Photo enthusiasts will be happy to know that their favorite mobile photo editing social app, Instagram, has been updated. Version 3.2 has a plethora of new features and design improvements, along with deeper FourSquare integration. Here is a list of changes that come with this update.
- A new filter! Willow
- Take photos faster with Instagram’s all-new camera
- Improved quality of tilt-shift
- Scroll infinitely on user profiles and other grid views
- We added a Foursquare button on location pages that opens the Foursquare app (or Foursquare mobile website) with details about the venue
- Filtered photos are now saved to a separate album called "Instagram" in the camera roll
- New welcome screen design
Read More | Instagram
It looks like Apple has even more in store for its mapping solution that'll make its debut in iOS 6 this fall. According to a Bloomberg report, iPhone users will be able to use Maps directly to check in to the local spots that they're visiting courtesy of Yelp's check-in service. Of course, this leaves us a bit confuses, as almost no one uses Yelp check-ins when compared to Foursquare or Facebook, but we're guessing that Apple doesn't wanna get too reliant on any one company for iOS features. Still, in this case, we think Yelp is a bit of a disappointment for system-level iOS 6 check-ins.
Read More | Bloomberg
Foursquare has released a major revision and revamp of its iOS and Android apps, introducing a brand new user interface. Foursquare 5.0 aims to make it easier to find places to go and activities to do, as it now takes into account the time of day, the local weather, and your location before recommending something to do. It also now incorporates a Like button on venues, which it will then use to find more places that it thinks you'll like when you are using the Explore function. You can grab Foursquare 5.0 now from the App Store and Google Play.
Facebook yesterday updated its iPhone app to version 3.4, bringing enhancements to the News Feed and notifications UI as well as the option to check-in to Facebook Events on the go. For unfriending that cannot wait until you get back to your desktop, the app adds that, too.
The signature feature of the update, of course, is the mobile check-ins for Facebook Events. We previously reported that Facebook added another layer to its location-based functionality by including a check-in icon available on the day of a given event. The company had pledged to launch the feature soon on the iPhone and their mobile site. Yesterday's update fulfills that pledge.
Formerly, the only way you could check in to a Facebook Event was through Facebook Places, which entailed checking in to locations as you would with Foursquare or Gowalla. Now users can check-in to events themselves, opening up new possibilities for companies and individuals. For example, you could arrange contests at events.
Filmaster is a brand new application that was released at SXSW this year. The app is developed by a Polish development team, and their aim is to position Filmaster as the "Foursquare of film". Filmaster is a free application in the app store, and it offers lots of features for movie goers around the globe. The main idea of the app is to recommend films based on users likes and preferences, and allow them to interact with their friends and fellow movie goers. Some of the Filmaster features listed on the App Store include:
- Personalized movie recommendations in your area
- Check into screenings, and see who's sitting next to you
- Find film buffs with similar tastes where you live
- Manage your personal film collection, and your wish list
There are many more features of Filmaster on the app store for you to explore, so head on over and check out this awesome new app. Filmaster promises to bring Foursquare integration, TV showtimes, and live-walls for events really soon. What do you think of apps like Filmaster and GetGlue? Do you check into TV shows with IntoNow? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Read More | Filmaster
Google took aim at Foursquare on Thursday with the addition of checkin rewards for its Latitude app for Google Maps, while replacing 'mayors' with "gurus" and "VIPs".
Google's location class warfare didn't stop there: there are a poor, middle, and elite class under Google's hierarchy, known as "Regulars," "VIPs," and "Gurus," respectively. Users who check in for the first time might not receive any special designation.
Users will need to update to Google Maps 5.2 via the Android Market, join Latitude, then tap "check in here" from the menu. Google said a version for the iPhone would be coming soon.
The new rewards will be rolled out - where else? - at the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) show in Austin, Texas this weekend, where discounts will be offered at restaurants, bars, and other venues around the downtown area.
The new checkins scheme provides a sort of game-like approach to rewards, with additional checkins propelling users to new social rankings - and new discounts, to boot. "Footprint" icons let users track their progress. As an example, a restaurant could offer a free drink to a regular, free breadsticks to a VIP, and possibly a free dessert to a "guru".
Google began offering checkins on Latitude in February.
In the crowded world of location apps like Foursquare and Facebook Places, Google Latitude aimed to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack. Unlike the others which center around checking into places by tapping an icon, Latitude always tracked where you were in real-time, without any user interaction needed. Then it would share your whereabouts with your friends as you moved around. Thing is, people like checking in. So Google went ahead and added the ability to check in on Latitude, which will allow more flexibility for users of the app. A more interesting feature in Latitude is you can even choose to be automatically checked into locations, which sounds fairly ridiculous given how close many spots are to each other.
There's a new Foursquare badge, you know those fun little icons you can get for checking into various places and times on Foursquare? But this one focuses on the controversy surrounding TSA's highly public pat-down procedures. If you check-in at a TSA location in an Airport with the terms "TSA", "grope" or "don't touch my junk", you are rewarded this handy badge. The description reads "Looks like you’ve had your baggage handled. Happy Holidays and have a safe flight!" Gotta give it to 'em for being topical.
Read More | About Foursquare
The website of the location app Foursquare was updated today. While the mobile application has seen update after update, the website has remained more or less untouched until now. "We figured it was time to show some love to the website," said the Foursquare team on their blog.
The updated site now places emphasis on social networking. Friend's updates are now displayed in a live timeline that should "make it easier to keep up with your friends, even when your phone is not handy."
One more part of the update is that it is now easier to bring over contacts from other web services such as Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook. These may be simple updates that seem mandatory for other sites, but it shows that Foursquare is finally caring about their web interface in addition to that of their mobile application.
Read More | Foursquare Blog