Foursquare this week announced Hypertrending, a new in-app feature that allows you to see how popular places are through a top-down heat map view. The feature is only available in Austin, Texas until March 21st, and there’s a reason for that: Foursquare wants to learn how creepy people think this feature is.
Foursquare’s check-in focused app, Swarm, got a major visual and user experience update today. The changes bring a focus to a timeline view of check-ins, new categories, and an overall updated UI.
Apple has quietly confirmed that it’s adding business listing information from Foursquare to Apple Maps. The addition was spotted on Apple’s acknowledgements page for Maps listing the various contributors of data for Apple’s mapping service (via Apple Maps Marketing).
It’s unclear exactly how Apple is using Foursquare data, but it’s likely users will begin to notice points of interest related data from the service appearing soon. Apple already partners with various companies for the data and other features it uses in Maps including TomTom, booking.com, TripAdvisor, Yelp and others.
Apple uses Yelp and booking.com, for example, to show reviews for local points of interest like restaurants and hotels, and it’s possible Apple will be tapping into Foursquare for similar features.
Foursquare claims to have over 2 million businesses using the service and over 70 million tips, which are essentially reviews and comments for local businesses, submitted by users.
Foursquare is tapping into its data of foot traffic for the first time to predict Apple’s iPhone sales as the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus launch this weekend. The company notes that it has “the world’s largest database of information on the foot traffic of people around the globe,” courtesy of its app users that use the app to check-in at locations they visit.
Avid Foursquare junkies (myself included), rejoice – mayorships are back, just now in the Swarm app. You can become the mayor of a place by checking into it more than anyone else in the last 30 days, and only one check-in per day counts towards your rank.
Earlier this year, Foursquare pulled a Facebook and split its mobile app in half with check-ins moving to a new app branded as Swarm and location discovery and recommendations becoming the sole focus of its Foursquare-branded app.
Both apps were iPhone-only for iOS users as Foursquare relied on a mobile site for iPad users wanting to check-in from a tablet, but now that Foursquare has become a full-fledged Yelp competitor with its own dedicated app to finding new places to travel and venues to review, Foursquare is giving users a native iPad app as well.
Earlier this year Foursquare announced its plans to split check-ins and social features from location discovery and reviewing features from its mobile apps. Swarm, the new app focused on check-ins, launched earlier this year in May while Foursquare gave its users some time to become familiar with having two apps for two different purposes.
Just a little more than a week after acquiring Beats, Apple has now reportedly acquired Spotsetter. According to a report out of TechCrunch, Apple quietly snatched up the company mainly for the technology and two founders behind the service. Spotsetter was founded in 2012 by ex-Google Maps engineer Stephen Tse and Jonny Lee. Both Lee and Tse’s LinkedIn profiles now say they’re employed by Apple, as well.
Location sharing and reviews service Foursquare recently announced its plans to split its mobile app in half as it introduces a new app called Swarm that will soon be the only place to check-in to locations using Foursquare’s service.
Foursquare will instead focus its main app on reviews and location discovery and plans to remove check-in functionality later this year. Check-ins, mayorships, location sharing, and other social features will instead be focused in Swarm going forward. It’s a big move in terms of risking App Store ranking and discoverability as well as branding, but Facebook has practiced a somewhat similar strategy by developing its messaging experience in Facebook Messenger rather than the primary Facebook app where the feature can also be found.
For its part, Foursquare has already announced a number of features users of the previous app have requested that will be available in Swarm including complete check-in history and neighborhood sharing.
Foursquare is once again showing off an iOS 7-designed app update and a set of new features with version 7.0.
Foursquare originally updated its user interface in time for iOS 7’s public debut with version 6.3, but today Foursquare is introducing even more changes to its UI for iOS 7.
The app also picked up some additional street smarts with the ability to recommend businesses and locations without the app even being open.
Foursquare 7 for iPhone is available for free on the App Store. (Full change log below)
Yelp, perhaps feeling the pressure of other local-based apps like Foursquare, has released version 7.0 of their app that includes the ability to publish reviews within the application. Previously, users were able to draft up reviews in the app, but to publish them required logging in to the Yelp.com website on a desktop computer.
The reasoning for this is explained on TechCrunch’s post regarding the update:
Back in 2009, here’s how Eric Singley, VP of consumer and mobile products, responded to the request:
“We occasionally hear from other passionate Yelpers on why we haven’t enabled review publishing from our mobile applications. There are several reasons why we do this…Well imagine what it would be like if reviews were done in SMS shorthand: ‘OK so, IANAE, but AFAIC this place has THE best Cfood. It was gr8! ADBB’
We love the witty quality of the reviews and the insight that Yelpers share in their detailed accounts of their experiences. We’ve found that Quick Tips and Draft Reviews [two pre-existing short features] are mobile features that provide eager Yelpers with an outlet to catalog their immediate experiences or jot notes that they can then add to or edit when they get back to a computer. While we’re not saying that writing Yelp reviews on your mobile device is out of the question, we feel very strongly about maintaining the high level of content you all provide.”
They have now reversed course and will allow users to publish their high-quality reviews right on their iOS device.
The Yelp app is available for free in the App Store.
Foursquare for iPhone was updated version 6.0 today. The update brings the Explore functionality to the forefront of the app. Explore is Foursquare’s recommendation engine, which suggests attactions that users may find interesting based on their previous check-ins.
The new update brings the Explore search box to the top of the navigation bar, enabling quick access to the feature, which now serves up results faster than ever.
With the new Foursquare 6.0, we’ve crunched our billions of check-ins to instantly show you the most interesting things nearby. They’re insights that only Foursquare can deliver, the moment you open up the app. We also put search front-and-center, so you can find whatever you’re craving fast.
✓ Instantly see the best of what’s nearby. In Paris for the first time? We’ll show you the top sights and attractions, approved by local check-ins. In a familiar neighborhood? We can tell you about an up and coming restaurant that just opened up a few blocks away. Whether you’re near familiar stomping grounds or a tourist fresh off the plane, we show you the most interesting things nearby when you open Foursquare.
✓ Search is front-and-center! You can search Explore from the top of the app as soon as you open it up, so you can find what you’re craving even faster. Type what you’re looking for (like “dessert” or “park”), browse a type of place (like “Nightlife”), or tap “Best Nearby” to see our top picks in the area.
The update is avaiable for free on the App Store.
Rabbit: Launching today in closed beta, Rabbit is a new video chat and content sharing app– initially available exclusively for Mac– that has been getting a lot of attention. The app lets you chat with an unlimited number of people, create and customize chats, as well as watch movies, listen to music, and share content in chats in real-time. If you are a pre-teen who hasn’t heard of Google Hangouts, you might want to check this out.
Rabbit is kind of like a virtual living room. It runs in the background on your computer just like Skype, so you can always find your friends online and invite them to watch a movie or listen to music at any time. You can share this content directly from your computer, or you can use the Rabbit “SharePad” of integrated content sites to instantly launch TV shows, videos and music you want to watch and listen to with your friends.
Foursquare version 5.4.3: Foursquare gets an update today that brings improvements to check-in notification settings including an “Always” option to get notifications for all check-ins, as well as new “Nearby” and “Off” settings to apply to specific users.
✓ 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.
TomTom version 1.13: TomTom updated the majority of its iOS navigation apps today. On top of the most up to date map data, users can also now backup and restore settings and stored destinations from iCloud. With today’s update TomTom is also providing a free 30 day trial to its HD traffic subscription. In addition, the app now includes compatibility for iPad mini.
Borderlands Legends version 1.1.0: 2K’s Borderlands Legends (and the HD iPad version) is updated today with new features including a new sniper mode, new enemy and mini boss types, night versions of the Wasteland map, iPhone 5 & Game Center support, new Eridian Weapons, and more.
Update #2, Jan. 03: TechCrunch’s MG Siegler just posted a report claiming the rumor of Apple acquiring Waze for up to $750m was little more than a rumor. While citing “multiple sources close to the situation,” Siegler claimed “There is no deal is happening. At least not now or anytime soon.” A little birdie told Cnet the same thing.
That’s huge news for a few reasons: Apple rarely makes startup acquisitions — Waze is a hot startup with good buzz — the Apple Maps fiasco — the list goes on. But there’s just one little problem: the deal isn’t actually happening.
That information comes from multiple sources close to the situation. And while Mike Butcher also claimed multiple sources in his original post, you’ll note that he was quick to qualify the information as a “rumor”
Update: Butcher later updated the post to add that another source confirmed Apple is in advanced negotiations with Waze to purchase the company for a figure ranging from $400M to $750M:
Another source confirms that negotiations are advanced, but Waze wants $750M and Apple is willing to do $400M plus $100m in incentives. Waze had less than $1M in revenues last year (primarily from ads). Negotiations may take awhile.
Following rumors that Apple may partner with Foursquare to better its mapping experience, Mike Butcher of TechCrunch offers a great case as to why Apple may purchase social sat-nav smartphone app Waze. For those unfamiliar, Waze is a popular mapping solution in the United Kingdom, Asia, and Middle East (areas where Apple is having trouble with its in-house Maps). Here’s how Apple could benefit:
Because Waze maps are built on the location of moving cars, it’s far more accurate than check-in apps. Outside of Google’s project to map cities with Streetview cars – something which has taken years to complete – and the real-world mapping undertaken by volunteers on the Open Streetmaps open source project, there has been little to match Waze’s approach.
It would also cost Apple northwards of $500M+ to buy Foursquare (which has raised $71 million is known to be raising another round), and gain, what? The location of restaurants, bars and airports? Given Waze has raised $67 million, Apple could acquire far better mapping data and a real driving app.
The Wall Street Journal, MapChoice, Instagram, StubHub, Path, MapQuest, HopStop Transit, deals, more
MapChoice | $0.99: A new app just released on the App Store provides you with access to both Apple’s new Maps and Google Maps in a single app. Your position will transfer from one map to the other, and it also includes StreetView and Foursquare integration.
MapChoice gives you a choice between old and new maps. You can also view Street View and search using FourSquare.
Instagram version 3.4.0 | FREE: Instagram gets updated today with support for 25 languages, a new “Mayfair” filter, Facebook iOS 6 integration, and more.
– Instagram is now available in 25 languages!
– New filter: Mayfair
– Share photos from any album
– Facebook iOS 6 integration
– Improved performance and bug fixes
The Wall Street Journal version 5.0 | FREE: The Wall Street Journal just updated its iOS app, moving content on iPhone and iPad to Apple’s Newsstand and providing users with automatically updated issues each morning. WSJ will now offer in-app subscriptions, billing users directly to their iTunes accounts monthly. The updated app also includes Alerts for breaking news.
Newsstand & Alerts
– WSJ is now in Newsstand! Get new issues automatically delivered to your device overnight. To use Newsstand, tap ‘Allow’ when prompted.
– Note: WSJ App icon will now appear in the Newsstand Folder.
– Breaking News Alerts from WSJ. To get alerts, tap ‘Allow’ when prompted.
– Purchase a monthly subscription to WSJ through your iTunes account. With a digital subscription you get access to iPad, iPhone, WSJ.com and more.
StubHub version 4.1.0 | FREE: The StubHub iOS app gets updated with more interactive seat maps, the ability to see your view before buying tickets, iPhone 5 support, and more:
• Interactive seat maps for certain football and basketball games: filter ticket listings by section
• View from section: see the view from your section before you buy (for many events)
• iPhone 5 support
• Improved sharing (Twitter, Facebook, and text messaging)
• Ability to add events to your calendar
• User interface enhancements
• You can now send maps and routes from mapquest.com to your phone and open them in the MapQuest App
This ‘Little Printer’ thing is making the rounds today (right). It is a cute $259 (plus $30 shipping to U.S.) Cloud printer that prints on a receipt-size roll of paper from a smartphone using some special software.
I am not feeling it, but I imagine there will be some special use cases. As The Verge notes in an interview with Berg cofounder Matt Webb, you could put one of these at your grandma’s house and just send her black and white notes/receipts all day. You can even have it set up to print news on a smartphone-sized scroll of paper. :/
Former Googlers Robby Stein and Kevin Palms have launched a new iOS app called Stamped. Stamped is backed by Google Ventures, among other investors, and allows users to check-in to locations in a very simple way. Instead of whether you didn’t like the location, thought it was just ‘meh’, or totally loved it, Stamped uses a five star only recommendation system. If you like something you simply ‘stamp’ it. But get this — you only get a limited number of stamps to use, and earn more as your friends like your recommendations.
Stamped joins other check-in and ranking apps like the new Oink, Foursquare, and more. The ability to rank only what you only enjoy seems like a very smart idea, and throwing in the limited number of rankings makes it even better. Like any social network it’s about where your friends are, but being backed by Google this app has the chances of taking off.
Stamped is currently available on the App Store for free. An Android version is also currently in development, and should hit the Android Market fairly soon. Check out a few more screenshots after the break.