Foursquare

It’s been a long time since the official Foursquare app for Windows Phone was refreshed. In fact, we can go all the way back to October 2013. What’s funny is reading that article, we mention how the previous update to that one was in June. Needless to say, this app don’t get a lot of love.

Version 3.1.4.5 is now live in the Store, up from 3.1.3.0.  Like usual, there’s no changelog on board, though we’ve been tinkering with it all day and have noticed at least a couple of changes.

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Microsoft has just invested 15 million dollars into Foursquare, the location-based social network. Not only has it just invested a boatload of cash, but it also picked up a multi-year license contract to data. That data will become increasingly useful in Microsoft’s Bing platform and for Windows Phone. Is this the result of talks between the two companies that started last summer?

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It’s been awhile since the official Foursquare app for Windows Phone had an update. In fact, it was way back in June when we last saw some minor bug fixes come to the popular checkin app. Since then, we’ve also seen the Windows 8 version launch with high praise from users.

This morning, version 3.1.3.0 has landed and while it brings a few changes to Windows Phone 8 users (more on the below), from reader tips we've received, the Windows Phone 7.x version now has the new UI. (We haven’t been able to verify since we’re out of town, but a few of you tipped us on that fact).

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Microsoft has never really had a strong hand in the social network cookie jar; Windows Live spaces and Socl can both be regarded as failures in comparison to the big dogs like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. According to Bloomberg New Tech Reporter, Dina Bass, the company may be looking to change that as she reported that "Mcrosoft talks with Foursquare about a strategic investment are said to be at an advanced stage".

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Foursquare is pretty big. It's the one service you turn to when wanting to check-in and share your current location with friends and the general public. Whether you've just managed to hit up a superb coffee shop or simply on holiday abroad, Foursquare will let you boast about how active you are in the big bad world with locations being pinned, points of interests stored and badges rewarded.

Now the company has released an official app for Windows 8. We'll take a quick look and see what's what.

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Guess what? We’re addicted to Foursquare. The location based social network is a fun way to see where your friends and family are at a quick glance. We’re not alone in this addiction, the Windows Phone community has always had some affection toward the service. Brilliant apps like 4th & Mayor have been favorites in the community for a long time, mostly because the official Foursquare app was lacking. By teaming up with Nokia, Foursquare managed to give the turn out a polishes and beautiful app. That app just received another update.

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One day after Windows Phone 8 users received the new Hulu Plus app, they’re being treated again to another major app: Foursquare. While Windows Phone has had an official Foursquare app for some time on the platform, the new version is a complete overhaul.

Co-developed with Microsoft and Nokia, the new app is a completely new UI, is much faster to use and is simply gorgeous.

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Back at Mobile World Congress, we gave you a demonstration of the new, redesigned foursquare app for Windows Phone 8. Co-developed with the fine folks at Nokia, the app looks amazingly fast and fluid and needless to say, our mouth’s were watering.

The app was given a fuzzy release window of March, but that was assuming it was ready for the Store (a few other apps have yet to come out too that were shown off). Obviously that time has come and gone, which can only mean it’s still not ready yet.

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Whilst at MWC, Windows Phone Central had the chance to sit down with Marco Argenti, Senior Vice President of the Developer and Marketplace division at Nokia. We had just been checking out the new partner apps being shown off in Nokia’s sizeable booth and were keen to hear more about the relationships Nokia are continuing to build with developers both commercial and indie, especially following the news of Nokia’s new imaging and HERE API features.

You can find the full write up of that discussion after the break.

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Here’s a little secret that’s not many have caught on, but Nokia and Foursquare have tag teamed to re-do the official Foursquare app and no joke, it’s quite awesome. It’s the Foursquare app that Windows Phone deserves (we still love 4th & Mayor, but official apps should set the bar themselves).

Nokia released a self branded Foursquare app last year, which differed very little, but now it's clear the two were already collaborating for something bigger.

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The official Foursquare app for Windows Phone just got bumped to version 2.12 and includes “bug fixes, Thai and Indonesian languages added and application compatibility with Windows Phone 8”. All of that sounds good and people may be wondering what “compatibility with Windows Phone 8” actually means. Turns out, not much.

What we mean by that is there are no new functions here—no fast app resume, no doublewide tile, nothing for the Lockscreen, etc. It just means it should work properly on Windows Phone 8 and indeed, it does. We’re not knocking Foursquare as we’re sure they’ll release a WP8 version in the near future, but as of right now, this is quite minor.

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Nokia has one again picked up an app from the Windows Phone Store and put a copy in their Collection. Such is the case with Foursquare, which is now listed as version 2.1.

While it would have been nice to see something expanded upon by the Finns alas this version is a hair older than the official 2.11 version on the Store for all Windows Phone users. So there is no augmented-reality or any performance improvements to be found, as far as we can tell.

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The official Foursquare app still focuses on Check-ins

A few interesting tidbits about the official Foursquare app for Windows Phone that you may be interested in on this lazy Sunday. Even though we swear by 4th & Mayor, some of you like the unique design of the Foursquare app even if it's a tad slow by comparison.

Today the app has an update to version 2.11 which is certainly fairly minor but still important. The first one is that it now runs on devices with 256MB of RAM aka "Tango phones" like the Lumia 610. While less than 2% of the apps of the Marketplace are non-Tango optimized they tend to be some big titles (mostly Xbox LIVE games), so it's nice to get that nod. 

The second update is the more vague "bug fixes" which will hopefully address some issues some of you may have had recently.

Perhaps the bigger news (and non-surprising) is the official Foursquare app has not been update to the new "5.0" system like Android and iOS. Those apps were completely rebuilt and re-coded from the ground up with Check-ins losing their primary status for the service. That's right, most users evidently weren't even using Foursquare for check-ins but rather recommendations of nearby locations.

Check-ins in the new Foursquare have been sidelined as the service expands to be more Yelp-ish with new features like Explore and Lists. Photos are also more prominent now as users are more likely now to document their experiences. Of course the much superior 4th & Mayor app already has all of these features built in but with the more original focus on check-ins.

No word on if Foursquare will bother scrapping and re-doing the current Windows Phone app to reflect these new changes. Our bet is they'll wait till Windows Phone 8 comes out to release the overhaul.

Pick up the official Foursquare app here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Users can also grab the free 3rd party version, 4th & Mayor here instead. Thanks, Brian, for the heads up

    

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We haven't seen the official Foursquare app get an update in quite some time. In fact, we've heard some isolated reports that the leaderboard tile stopped updating for some. So it's nice to see the official team update their app (and play catch-up to 4th & Mayor).

Version 2.9 is now live in the Marketplace and features the following changes:

  • Portugese, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese and Russian language support
  • Push notifications to get instant friend check-in updates on pinned tile
  • Leaderboard pinned tile backside to see where you stand compared to your friends

The extra language support is great, especially as Windows Phone expands globally to those new markets. The push notifications we've seen before in 4th & Mayor and quite fun to keep track of your friends's updates. Finally, hopefully this update will fix that stuck leaderboard for some of you. You can pick up the updated Foursquare app here for free in the Marketplace. Thanks, Rob and Aaron, for the tip!

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We like app updates, especially when they come so quickly after previous app updates. Jeff Wilcox is on a rampage with his Foursquare app 4th & Mayor which is just going live in the Marketplace with v3.2.  We just had an update to this a few days ago and now v3.2 adds even more features. One of those is "Menu support" for local restaurants in your area, a new addition introduced by Foursquare on January 18th. It's so new, Windows Phone is the first second mobile OS to support it (Android users beat us, ever so slightly).

  • Powered by Foursquare and Single Platform, many places now have a menu available - you’ll find it right under the mayor information when looking at a place
  • Available in major US cities, over 13 million menu items at 250,00 restaurants - with more on the way!

In addition, you can now scan in at some venues by using a QR code. Evidently, some establishments are using QR codes at the front which you can scan to do the checkin, giving users yet another method for racking up those points:

  • The Check-in page now has a new “QR code” check-in option
  • Simple scan the Foursquare Check-in QR Code - some businesses place these near their entrances
  • An optional “automatic check-in” will immediately check you in if you opt in to that!
  • Pin the “QR Check-in” experience right to Start

In addition there are the usual fixes to GPS locations, invalid venues, etc. making the app even better. Great to see Windows Phone users on the cutting edge of Foursquare support with this app, which of course can be picked up here in the Marketplace for free. Users should start to see v3.2 in the next few hours, if not already. (Oh and if you feel like tipping Jeff for his work, go ahead right here).

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We love ourselves some 4th & Mayor, the wildly popular Foursquare app for Windows Phone which has outpaced the official app. We're now happy to announce that version 3.1 is live in the Marketplace. What are the biggest changes? Only the ones you have been asking for the most:

  • The back of the app tile is now a Live Tile leaderboard
  • Toast notifications when friends check-in near to you

That right there are some cool features for such a great app. We're busy taking it through its paces right now, so we'll let you go download it here in the Marketplace for free. Oh and since it is free, if you ever feel like buying the developer, Jeff Wilcox, a beer for his efforts, you can do that very easily by clicking this link.

There's much more too though with version 3.1 with the full changelog after the break...

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If you're like us, you're waiting anxiously for Jeff Wilcox to get a Mango version of his uber-popular '4th & Mayor' Foursquare app out. And while simply re-encoding for fast-app switching is an easy task, Jeff is doing more than just that for version 3.0.

In a few teaser shots seen above, we can get a glimpse of what is coming down the pipe. First, you can now see your friends and where they checked in on a map, which makes total sense to us to have as a feature. Next you can see how you can customize the multiple-live tiles you'll be able to pin, including changing the tile or the photo for it for quick checkins. Finally, checkin deep-links and those multiple live tiles are shown on the start screen.

Release date? We hear that the app was submitted to the Marketplace on Sunday, which means we should be seeing this this week sometime. We're pretty excited about this one! Grab version 2.9 of 4th & Mayor here in the Marketplace for free.

Source: @JeffWilcox 1, 2, 3; via WindowsPhone Daily

Update: Jeff was kind enough to provide the full changelog for v3.0. Curious about all the new features? Head past the break!

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