An updated Foursquare app for Windows Phone has been awaited for a long time and it’s finally here. The previous Foursquare app was pretty much unchanged since it’s first release around the original launch of Windows Phone 7 a few years ago. With version 3, Foursquare sees a complete overhaul that brings it up to speed with the mobile apps on other platforms and surpasses them in some ways. The feature I was most excited about; speech UI integration, was unfortunately not implemented as nicely as it could have been. The “Foursquare check in” command only brings you to the Foursquare app’s check-in screen. It doesn’t allow you to check-in without looking at or touching your phone like it should. Ideally, it would respond by reading the names of the 3 closest locations and then allowing you to choose the one you want to check into. We know this type of functionality is possible since we’ve seen it in MetroTalk, so it’s a bit disappointing that it didn’t make it into Foursquare here.
Another nice new feature is the integration of an augmented reality view for the “Explore” tab. It does not show locations that are particularly close to you, but that probably makes sense since if you’re at the location you probably don’t need to look for it. Locations also have a lot more information associated with them including things like twitter accounts, web pages, menus, etc. and there’s even a “Directions” button that will launch your GPS navigation software and tell you how to get there.
Besides the partial speech integration, the Foursquare app is also missing the ability to tag your friends when you check into locations, you can’t check into events, and notifications of nearby check-ins by your friends don’t seem to work. It is possible to “Like” items now and you can also save things to your own lists as well as share certain items via SMS, Email or even near field communications chips. Pinning specific locations to your start screen for easy access is supported of course, and be sure to look for the “Pin to Start” option for the check in screen so you can create a much quicker method for checking in. One thing I kind of miss from the previous version of the Foursquare Windows Phone app is the live tile that shows the leaderboard. Now the app’s tile is just a blue logo. It doesn’t even use my theme colors although some of the secondary live tiles do use my theme color which is strange.