Recently, foursquare for BlackBerry has gone version 1.03, which is the version they will likely launch with. Other than bug fixes, this latest version adds a few navigational features and seems to be fully ready for launch. I thought I’d review foursquare now, as it’s basically ready and I’ll post the download link so that anyone who doesn’t have foursquare on their BlackBerry can go ahead and download it.
As we talked about in the beta review, foursquare has 3 main tabs: friends, places, and more. In the friends section, you get a feed of where all your friends are checking in. From this tab, you can either check-in somewhere yourself, or “Shout”. The shout feature allows you to broadcast a message to all your friends that will show up in the feed.
When you check-in with foursquare version 1.03, I am still finding that the Favorites section isn’t doing a good job of remembering where I check-in most. For example, I check-in to my office constantly, but it never shows up in the favorites menu. I don’t think this issue is specific to BlackBerry though, because I’m played with the iPhone version and I found a similar issue. When you select your check-in location, you get a map and some options to push your message to Twitter, Facebook and friends. This could be much more robust, and I talk about what I would like to see implemented at the end of this article.
Clicking on a business gives you a map, tweets nearby, the option to view on Yelp, an option to see who the mayor is, ability to add a tip, and the option to flag a venue as closed. BBCool Matt tells me that he’s had an issue with the flagging a venue option, saying that when he pressed the “back” button, it registered as a click and he accidentally flagged Ottawa’s downtown mall as closed for business. Oops!
The leaderboards are great and I think it’s cool that it resets every Sunday night. I don’t know if checking in to your own apartment should count towards the point system though. The whole point of foursquare is that you’re supposed to be enjoying the local culture, and sharing businesses that you’ve discovered with the community. I’m tired of seeing my friends logging in to their homes 4 times in one hour because they’re running errands.
In my home city of Ottawa, Canada, there is only one bar that has taken advantage of the nearby specials. At least only one that I’ve discovered. The Mercury Lounge offers free cover at the door if you check-in with foursquare. This feature would have been way more fun if I didn’t live in a city of bureaucrats with locked down BlackBerrys that can’t install 3rd party apps.
Some improvements I would like to see include:
- Partner with a real Twitter client so we don’t have to hit the web version of Twitter.
- Add more Twitter functionality like Twitpic and Twitvid.
- More map integration. I’d like to see for example a heat map of where the most activity is and where my friends are at. If they’re all at a particular bar, I want to be able to log into foursquare and see a big white heat coming from that area.
- A better system for managing double entries. I’ve noticed the venue system is chaotic. For example, you shouldn’t let people register both “The Tavern”, “The Tavern in Toronto”, and “The Tavern bathroom.”
- Way more badges! There should be badges specific to types of businesses, offices, homes, cities and countries.
- Barcode check-in. Any business that has a barcode, you should be able to scan the barcode and foursquare would automatically check you in.
- Better integration with your BlackBerry contacts. Rather than hit the website and use Twitter, Facebook and Gmail, it should pull them from your BlackBerry Address Book.
Overall, I’d say this app is ready for launch, albeit a minor bug here and there. To download the latest Beta, go to http://foursquare.com/blackberry/beta-pacman from your BlackBerry. Remember, you can use a QR code too!