NFC (near field communication) has been renamed to “Android beam” and this Android beam is exactly what’s been added, among other things, to the latest Foursquare update available in the Android Market.
Users will be able to use Android Beam on Venue, Lists and Me pages; this means that simply bumping phones together will allow Foursquare users to share lists and venues with each other. Unfortunately though, one has to own an Android Ice Cream Sandwich-powered phone with an NFC chip inside to take advantage of this functionality, meaning only Google Galaxy Nexus owners.
Holger Luedorf, Vice President of Mobile and International at Foursquare said, regarding the newly supported feature for a limited audience, that “the good news is the technology is already there … going forward, some of the other platforms will be NFC-enabled. The user experience is great. You just hold your phone against the tap. The checkin screen automatically pops up with the right venue. You’re basically shaving very valuable seconds off the checkin process“.
NFC aside, the Foursquare refresh also brings a new Explore page as well as improved scrolling speed throughout the app.