Posts Tagged Foursquare
The App Store turns five this week, and we’ll be taking a long look back at this disruptive force in the way we use our mobile devices. Back in 2008, when the App Store launched, we had no idea how far it would come in such a short time, but hindsight is a good thing.
During that time, there have been a ton of apps that changed and improved the state of the art. Here, then, are ten that we think really matter, apps that had an effect on our lives, even now. Apps that changed the landscape of what we expected from a mobile device, and gave us new ways of interacting, sharing, and understanding our world.
The grandaddy of social image sharing, Instagram created, with an ease of use and pretty image filters, a whole new social network based on images. In an era of Facebook (who eventually bought the service) and Twitter, that was no small feat.
Released: 2010-10-06 :: Category: Photography
While derided as a possible porn-chat app, Snapchat took a single idea and refined it to a razor’s edge: take a picture, caption it, and share with your friends. Then, zen-like, that picture disappears. The hidden potential in this app caught on with young and old alike, changing the way we communicated with pictures. Without an archive, Snapchat lets users freely share what they might not otherwise.
Released: 2011-07-13 :: Category: Photography
Here’s an app that allows anyone on any platform to exchange messages with anyone else on any other platform. In a world where you’re just as likely to have friends using Android or Blackberry as iOS, this was a revelation. Many other apps tried something similar, but Whatsapp has the userbase and an easy to use, intuitive app that brought it to the forefront. Now we can stay in touch with all our friends and family, regardless of platform, for free.
Released: 2009-05-04 :: Category: Social Networking
The photographer’s photography app, Camera+ fairly invented iPhoneography, letting iPhone users capture and edit better photos than the built in app with ease. Since its launch, the app has kept pace with upgrades in technology and the camera lenses in each iteration of iPhone, empowering real photographers and talented amateurs alike. Heck, they even pioneered using the volume button as a shutter release, until Apple shut that down, only to use it in the built-in Camera app.
Released: 2010-06-07 :: Category: Photography
Before Google Drive, before iCloud, there was Dropbox, a service that mirrors your documents across computers with a simple, unified login. The Dropbox app on the iPhone took the same, intuitive simplicity and allowed us all to access and edit the same documents on the go as easily as doing so on our Macs and PCs.
Released: 2009-09-29 :: Category: Productivity
Take notes, save pictures, record audio, bookmark websites. Do this on any device you own: Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android. Evernote has become the de facto standard for network-connected note taking, and much more. You can use this app to write a shopping list on your computer, and then pull it up on your iPhone while at the store. You can collaborate with others on documents, sharing notes and notebooks with ease.
Released: 2008-07-11 :: Category: Productivity
Ever been in the car when a song comes up on the radio and you just can’t remember the artist that performed it? Hold your iPhone up, launch Shazam, and let the app magically recognize the music, returning the artist name, album, and easy-purchase buttons for the iTunes store. Newer features include movie preview recognition with links to more information, and television ads that, when recognized, provide links to vendor websites. It’s magical technology at its best.
Marco Arment created Instapaper as a basic web app, single handedly creating the “read it later” market that many other apps now compete for. Arment started the service in 2008, built the iPhone app himself, and saw the service grow far beyond his initial vision. He’s subsequently sold the app to another company, who promise to maintain and improve it as we continue forward.
Released: 2008-08-21 :: Category: News
Waze was one of the first social mapping and traffic app, allowing users to share road conditions with each other while on the go. It may be one of the most unappreciated apps on this list, but it continues to serve a loyal and vocal user base, providing real-time help from users to help us all plan the best route possible.
Released: 2009-08-01 :: Category: Navigation
The check-in craze started here, with Foursquare. Becoming the mayor of a location, along with various gamification features, provided a stickiness not seen before the apps release. Even with privacy concerns dogging its every step, Foursquare has managed to remain in the public imagination as the way to let our friends know where we are at any given time.
Released: 2009-03-27 :: Category: Social Networking
RSS is great, as are Twitter and Facebook feeds. But what we really want is a place to see all of those things at once, published in a slick, easy to use layout. Enter Flipboard, still the best darn social news reader around. It makes the various web sites and social feeds we all rely on much prettier and interesting to look at, letting us keep up to date without having to dip into several different apps to do so.
Released: 2010-07-21 :: Category: News
Founded as a streaming internet radio service on the web, Pandora made the transition to iOS brilliantly, becoming a force to reckon with in the competitive streaming music market, as well as a household name known by one and all. While other services continue to chip away at the venerable service, offering on-demand music access, Pandora continues to be the music access app of choice on iOS devices everywhere.
Released: 2008-07-11 :: Category: Music
Can’t decide where to eat? Shake your iPhone and Urbanspoon will randomly choose a restaurant nearby that matches your criteria of price, cuisine, and distance. Released in August of 2008, Urbanspoon was the first app on the App Store to combine GPS location data with a database of local dining and drinking establishments, creating a loyal community that reviewed meals, restaurants, and service for other users.
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
The search option is now front and center with the latest FourSquare update. You can easily search and find the places you are looking for and instantly see the best nearby locations that have been approved by local check-ins.
Another day, another location-based app, right? Well, Grafetee (pronounced gră-fə-tee,) is really not the same as something like Saga in that it’s meant to be both a location service as well as a framework to integrate in other location services.
Its exclusive functionality is location-based bookmarks. This allows people to share notes based on their current location, including photos. These bookmarks can be shared privately with other users through an 8-digit alphanumeric code, that allows them to join in and create their own notes. For example, a private directory of restaurants and bars visited could be created and shared between friends. This works without logging in to anything, and photos are shareable between platforms, as the app is on both iOS and Android.
But where Grafetee will be at its most immediately interesting for users is the way that it integrates in third-party services: right now, it uses various APIs to add in Foursquare tips, Yelp listings, Flickr and Instagram photos, Geocaches, and even Wikipedia listings nearby. All of these can be toggled as different visual layers, or displayed in a text list.
This is where the developer of the app hopes its long-term value comes from: being able to add in other services to make it more useful. One creative use is in the developer’s native Finland, they made it possible to let users report information to the police with Grafetee. As explained by Juha Huttennen of Grafetee: “The Finnish police for example, is using Grafetee to crowdsource crime-related data that is not urgent. So they don’t want you to use the app instead of calling 911 but they want you to give out data if you find something that threatens security or if there is a distrubance that you want the police to note and perhaps later act on. Like…if there is a street crossing that is dangerous, or if there is a stop sign that people usually disregard or whatever. They want to collect stuff like this from the public, instead of getting these calls to 911 or direct emails complaining about the same things. It definitely helps them to ease their workload and gives the public a channel.” It was launched nationwide in the past weeks. How did Grafetee get involved with the Finnish police? “I called them.”
One of the other benefits of Grafetee’s approach is that it isn’t necessarily crippled if it grows too big for its britches: controversies over shut-off API access have arisen around Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Instagram with Twitter, for example. With Grafetee providing their own bookmarking service, if Foursquare pulls access, they still have other services, including others that may come into the app’s ecosystem, including ones that may pay to be part of the app if it catches on. Given the potential of its open framework and the fact that a governmental organization is already using it, it’s just a question of further adoption by not just users – but those who may get use out of a location-based app like Grafetee.
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Timehop is an interesting idea. It goes through your social history, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Foursquare, and even the photos on your phone and looks for events. It will then show you what you were doing on this date a year ago, or more. It’s your own personal “This day in history” app.
Leap2 is the latest app that aims to make it easy to search through social media, as well as other web results.
Referred to as a ‘living search platform’, the app makes it simple to browse through all kinds of search results at once, covering both web results and real-time hits from people. It’s the kind of resource that should prove particularly useful in times of breaking news or sports results, as well as providing a great way of gauging public reaction to something.
This all sounds much like Twitter’s trending topics, but the bonus to Leap2 is that it incorporates more than just Twitter. Users create a ‘leap’ they’re interested in to receive continuing updates which stems from the likes of Bing, Yahoo! Local, Foursquare, Yelp and Twitter. It’s all very simple to browse yet potentially quite powerful.
Adaptable for everything from the latest news, hype about a new movie or the local weather report, Leap2 is an interesting and free way of checking out plenty of different viewpoints at once.
What happens when a location-based service like Foursquare and a radio streaming services like Pandora are mashed together? We end up with something like WahWah.FM. WahWah.FM, a German-based start-up, is a music service that lets users create their own radio stations by picking music on their own iPhones and simultaneously listening and streaming those songs to anyone else who’d like to listen.
Unlike Pandora and other services that may use algorithms and recommendations to pick songs for stations, every user is their own DJ and can choose which songs they will listen to and broadcast to their listeners. Users can tune into to other users all over to world to check out what they’re listening to. Stations can be posted to Facebook to let friends know that music is being broadcasted. And there are even ways to interact with the listens to the stations each user has created.
WahWah.FM is a free service and is now available on the App Store. Check it out and start streaming.
LoSo, a location-based restaurant and bars app which bills itself as a combination of FourSquare and Yelp, has announced a complete redesign as part of the version 2.0 update. New features include user profiles, as well as a real-time news feed linked to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The most significant new addition is the What’s Up! feature, which allows users to take photos or videos of local bars and restaurants and instantly upload them to your Facebook page, the restaurant’s Facebook page, and LoSo‘s listings. The app also allows users to check out menus, drink specials and happy hour deals of all participating businesses within 10 miles of their current location. Checking in at participating businesses grants QRewards Points, which can be redeemed for free food and drinks, as well as other prizes.
LoSo is currently testing in the Philadelphia and Boston markets, and will be expanding to Washington D.C, Chicago and Dallas soon.
We’ve all seen countless check in type apps like FourSquare and Facebook‘s built in functionality but that doesn’t stop developers devising new ways of adding extra features to such a simple concept. This is precisely what’s happened with Clingle.
Clingle offers all the check in functionality anyone would expect but on top of that, it offers the ability to take photos, add video footage and even discover great deals and discounts in the local area. Users can leave surprise messages for friends to receive when they reach the relevant position. The chance to earn real life goodies in the form of the Clingle store is also available soon for those in India and USA.
While some of it might sound a lot like Foursquare, it’s the interactivity such as adding video and iTunes audio that makes all the difference. Who can resist leaving a video message for friends, after all?
Give Clingle a shot today. It’s free for all iOS devices.
Ahh Check-In Social Networking apps. There are a lot of them aren’t there? All vying for users and their precious time to actually check in wherever they go. There’s another one on the horizon now aiming to provide something even more useful than before. It’s called Locai and it’s just reached its 2.0 release having just added Twitter integration and custom checkin messages.
Essentially it’s an app that hopes to make checking in more sociable. It aims to let conversations develop around check-in locations thus enabling people to get to know each other through the app and their common interest of the location they’re at. That is providing they’re already following them via Twitter, Facebook or the app itself. Users can also ask questions and post images, not just enter text. Conversation discovery allowing people to get to know each other by finding nearby conversations is also set to be added soon.
It’s an interesting idea and one that I suspect will work quite well at large conventions. I know I’ve been to a few gaming events and found myself unsure if I know someone or not thanks to only ever following them on Twitter. Something like Locai would be a great way of breaking the ice.
Locai is out now and is a free app. Give it a try and see if it can usurp the almighty Foursquare.
Remember that? Walking into a party or business meeting and not knowing ANYONE? Having to put out our hand, offer the dreaded eye contact, and (gasp) learn other people’s names? Sounds barbaric, to be honest.
But what about all that six degrees of separation stuff? It’s fairly probably that we all have some connections within any sufficiently large number of gathered people, especially in our hometowns, right?
Sonar – Mobile Profile for Local Social Networking promises to bring the power of online social networking to the local space, thereby allowing us all to bury further into our handsets and avoid unkown humans at all costs.
The developer claims to have included Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare into their new app release, allowing it to use publicly available profile information to help us find the connections we might share with folks nearby us. So, if users want to figure out what that girl across the bar is thinking about, or what she does for work, they can use Sonar to look through the public information she’s already shared online. it’s the prefect innocuous stalking tool! What about letting the room know how big a Kanye fan they are? Or that they need an iPhone developer for a huge new funded project? You can do all that and more with Sonar, according to the developers.
Taking things one step further, the devs happily point out that
Sonar is perfect for:
- Event Organizers
- Early Adopters
- Tech and Social Media Enthusiasts
- Anyone that loves “small world” moments
Puppies?! Who doesn’t love puppies? All kidding aside, this seems like a fairly interesting way to connect with folks you happen to be standing near, without having to go through the typical pleasantries associated with real life networking, or at least enrich the experience; being able to start a conversation on a subject your target individual is already interested in is a great way to build that next power team relationship, right?
Released: 2011-03-08 :: Category: Social Networking
Anyone who is a fan of instant messaging on the go from their iOS device of choice is most likely familiar with the SHAPE Services development team and their tool IM+. What their original application did to help revolutionize the way that we chat on the road, their new app Checkin+ hopes to do for the worlds of FourSquare and Facebook.
While I was never one for alerting the entire world of my whereabouts at any given second in time, there has been a budding industry around the social networking concept of “checking in.” The problem was that Foursquare’s existing iOS application has left so much to be desired in the areas of personal mapping. This is where Checkin+ comes into play.
Combining the social networking world with augmented reality applications, though odd when described simply in words, actually makes for an interesting concept. Check out the trailer below and see if you feel the same way!
Released: 2011-07-11 :: Category: Social Networking
What do you get if you combine a FourSquare mentality with nightclub promotional material? ClubSeen, and it could well be a fantastic tool for regular club goers.
The app offers a wealth of features aimed at those looking for a fun night out. GPS functionality ensures that users can always find a nightclub near them. They can then browse weekly updates of various Nightclub events to see what takes their interest.
A Check In system is available so that users can check out who else is at the same club as them – potentially the perfect icebreaker to meet new friends. Users can also post comments and photos, as well as rate their night out the following morning.
Participating clubs are also able to provide prizes for those who interact the most which sounds like a great idea for all involved.
Nightclub owners are also able to check out things like how many visitors they’ve attracted, making it the ideal marketing tool.
ClubSeen is available now for all iOS devices and it’s a free app.
The problem with many communication on the internet often is decentralization. There are two ways to achieve centralization – either form a protocol that is great for universal usage, like email, or be the most popular service; Just ask Diaspora and Laconica what they think of their popularity compared to Facebook and Twitter, for example. Currently, location services seem to be extremely fragmented – you not only have services like Foursquare and Gowalla, but Facebook also offers their own service, Facebook Places, for sharing your location and checking in to places. So, a lot of this data is often spread out to a vareity of places, and a lot of the interesting data doesn’t get to the eyeballs of people that it would be useful for. How exactly do you solve a problem like this? MeMap has an idea.
MeMap is an iOS app that is designed to try and connect all these people and services together, in a way. See, MeMap integrates with Facebook Places, considering that Facebook is one of the most used services on the internet, so you have a massive userbase there, and it will be valuable to a good number of users. When you load up the app and connect your Facebook account, you will get an interactive map that shows any geolocation data from your Facebook friends. Now, here’s where the connection of disparate networks comes in – if data is shared from a service like Foursquare, Gowalla, or Loopt, it is pinned to your MeMap map.
Now, there’s obviously the thought that it actually isn’t integrating those other services, but this may be to the advantage of the service – it’s just far easier to support just a Facebook login, and doesn’t complicate the user experience. The ultimate idea behind MeMap, as according to the founder of MeMap, Matt Farnell, is to make something similar to Twitter, where it’s easy to just follow what your friends are doing. “We draw an analogy between our concept in the location sharing space, and the way that people have evolved to use Twitter. The current location sharing networks would be like limiting Twitter to the content creators, excluding anyone preferring to simply follow.” After all, that is the interesting thing about Twitter, and about geolocation services – it’s about targeting messages and sharing what you want to share to people who are interested in it. Twitter has made it easy, and MeMap is hoping to step into that space. Their app is available on the App Store right now for free.
In an attempt to cash in on the “check in” craze created by Foursquare and its ilk, the NBA has announced Turnstile, a new app which will allow fans to alert their friends when they’re attending a game in person or watching on television. Those who consistently check in may be eligible to receive discounts or loyalty rewards at local venues.
“We see location based services as just the tip of the iceberg,” says Bryan Perez, senior vice president and general manager of NBA Digital. “The more we can integrate people’s location information at games, the more opportunities there are for things like sponsorships,” he says, adding there are no sponsorships for Turnstile in place currently.
The move places the NBA in line with MLB, the NHL and some NFL teams who are all using some sort of social media check in platform to increase fan engagement and interaction. While most of these other leagues are utilizing Foursquare for their social media, Turnstile is being built from the ground-up exclusively for the NBA.
The app is planned to launch in concert with the start of the NBA regular season later this month and will be available for free on the iPhone, Blackberry and Android. Just keep in mind that if your Cleveland friends see you checking into a Miami Heat game you may well find your house vandalized or on fire when you return home.
[via The Wall Street Journal]
With the recent hybridization of social networking and location sharing applications such as FourSquare and Facebook, it has become increasingly common to share your whereabouts with the entire world at all times. The problem is, this can also prove to be a double edged sword, because not only are you sharing where you are, but this also points out where you are NOT.
For example, if I were a web-connected criminal of the 21st century (though I am not, rest assured), I might view a FourSquare check-in from the secluded island resort where you are vacationing as a “please burgle my house” notification. This is the exact reason why I have not taken part in these social networking experiments. If big brother is already looking at you, why make it easier, right?
At the risk of sounding like a paranoid mess, I can see the merits of the aforementioned FourSquare and Facebook tools — the problem is that there is no control over who you are sending the notifications to. This is where a brilliant new app BePut from Grip’d steps in. The developer best sums up the application’s functionality this way:
“Send driving directions of your exact location to whomever you want. Whether you want to invite your friends to a secret party or tell your client where to meet, Be Put works. Recipients receive a secure and unique “FindMe” key that is required for getting directions…
…Best of all, if you send your location to a friend who doesn’t have the app, they can still get directions with no hassle.” — VIA Be Put Development Blog
I can only imagine that this would be the dream of poor navigators like myself. No longer am I limited to following the crummy directions of my friends, because with a click of the button I can get a location and turn by turn walk-through at a moment’s notice. Better yet, you don’t have to be sharing this information with the entire world in the process. So if you really love your navigationally challenged friends, go out and get this app now. I, erm, I mean THEY will all thank you for it later.
It’s hard to avoid the daily (sometimes hourly) Twitter updates and Facebook posts informing you that a friend has “checked-in” at Starbucks. Apps and services like Foursquare and Gowalla have taken the mobile market by storm with millions of downloads and as many users sharing their locations in order to earn points and become the virtual “mayor” of a specific spot.
If you’ve never used such a service, it’s easy enough to disregard these ventures as pointless playthings for those with too much time on their hands. However, this appears not to be the case if news from Booyah Inc. is true across the location-based mobile app market. The company has recently closed a $20 million round of financing which sees prominent investor, Jim Breyer, join its Board of Directors.
Booyah is the creator of MyTown, a popular location-based social game where users “virtually” buy their favorite stores and locations. As they do so they earn points, charge rent on owned locations, unlock rewards and earn cash to be spent in real locations. The New York Times said “MyTown Turns the Real World into Monopoly” however it appears that the money to be made by developers in this market is very, very real. MyTown is currently played by over 2 million users and is growing at a rate of 100,000 new users week over week, according to a Booyah Inc. press release. MyTown has also passed 60 million check-ins and 250 million virtual item impressions per month with users spending an average of 70 minutes using the app each day. What DO these people do for a living?
This latest injection of funds is to be spent on igniting and accelerating the company’s “real and digital world offerings” which doesn’t offer much insight. However, with Jim Breyer, the Director of Wal-Mart Stores and Dell on board, we’re willing to bet some significant retail-based features are soon to be available for MyTown players. Breyer is also on the board of companies including Brightcove, Facebook, Etsy and Marvel Entertainment.
“Booyah is at the epicenter of the fastest growing markets today–mobile, social, and interactive gaming,” said Breyer. “Not only are they a next-generation entertainment company, but they are bridging the gap between consumers and businesses. The Booyah management team has both the passion and talent to innovate and create a wholly unique experience.”
If you’re yet to try out MyTown for yourself, it seems like now might be the time to get involved. The app is available for free on the App Store with a number of In App Purchases available.