If you told me that you'd never heard of Foursquare, I'd call you a liar. We've all see the cross-posts from Foursquare on Twitter and Facebook. I'd find it hard to believe that you had gone your entire life without seeing Foursquare notifications, but if you told me you didn't know what Foursquare was for, that I could believe. Foursquare, at its heart, is a fairly straightforward location-based game. You check into whatever establishment you're at, you collect points, and you lord your obvious superiority over your friends and loved ones. You can leave tips about businesses on their foursquare pages, get discounts at stores and coffee shops, and see if any of your friends are nearby. By doing this, you're giving Foursquare something very valuable in return: data. Foursquare has grabbed an almost NSA level of stuff. Why, though? That's what it has just revealed.


In a blog post yesterday about Foursquare getting smarter, the company revealed that it will soon be activating an always-on, location aware system that notifies you when you're near a place that might be of interest. When you stop somewhere to grab a bite to eat, it will give you a handy notification telling you what dishes people recommend there. Foursquare is going to start offering a "sixth sense" tailored to you that will notify you proactively, preventing interruptions in your experience like searching. This isn't intended to be an automatic check-in, though. Foursquare just wants to selflessly give you nice suggestions over the course of the day.


Don't feel bad if that sounds a whole lot like Google Now to you. I agree. The main benefit of Foursquare's implementation would be the billions of customer-provided chunks of data making Foursquare a bit more intuitive with its suggestions. The main roadblock in making a service of this sort a hit is its toll on your battery. Foursquare says it has been working on that, the service only draws about 0.7% per hour. That's not too shabby at all.

Foursquare was pretty unclear in the post about when this is going to be available, but the post did say that it was released to "a few thousand" testers who use the service on Android. While I feel pretty safe in assuming these features will come as an actual Play Store update, the details are still anyone's guess. It may just be a feature laying dormant in the app right now that just needs the switch flipped. Either way, a few thousand testers today and the features will be rolling out to all Android users in the coming months. This may be a reason to start using the service again if you gave up on it.

You can download Foursquare for free in the Play Store now and kick back while you wait for the new features.

Source: Foursquare

Brad Ganley
An Android power user, Brad consumes most of his free time with unhealthy amounts of cell phones and cell phone related things when he isn't playing with his son. Brad is also an avid movie-watcher and tea-drinker.
  • cities516

    Seriously, no one use Foursquare in my living region.

  • Sam Hollis

    .07% on what battery?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      0.7%, not 0.07%.

      • Sam Hollis

        You're right, sorry, but still. 0.7% on what battery? The battery drain on say, the RAZR MAXX, will be a hell of a lot less than on my Galaxy Nexus.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    0.7%, so about 10% while going about your day. You're going to have to pry these 10% from my cold dead hands.

    • Matt

      If they had an option that allowed Foursquare to pull location data when other apps were getting it (the minimum battery usage option mentioned in the Location Services video from Google I/O), I'd definitely use this. Actually, I'd probably use Field Trip more, too. The info is nice to have, but I'd much rather not have 15 apps pulling location info separately every few minutes, especially as most of the Foursquare updates probably wouldn't be *that* time-sensitive.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        I thought that's what the FusedLocationProvider was for - it shouldn't use nearly as much battery if the app was able to use it.

        • Matt

          It does, but devs still have some control in just how battery hungry the FusedLocationProvider is and there's an option to use essentially No Power, which has 1 mile accuracy so perhaps wouldn't work so well if you have Foursquare/Field Trip open or in active usage but would probably be ok for a background task like this. To be fair, I'm not technically proficient enough to be sure that 0.7% per hour isn't already utilizing it. Here was the Google I/O talk at that point. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bte_GHuxUGc&list=PLOU2XLYxmsIJOOTFfYzhR2d-rcSbBbEE_&index=19

  • Rodrigo Chiong

    If the app is as slow as it was a month ago, well no thank you.

  • Fuck cloud storage

    I have no clue what the hell this foursquare is but it doesn't seem like something I would even care about.

  • secano

    *at its heart

  • http://droidzy.com/ Chethan Rao

    I try awfully hard to make it a habit to check in on foursquare, but only remember when I return home after a good night out at a restaurant or the cinema. This update could solve that.

    • http://tech-buzz.net/ Thilak Rao

      How would this solve the problem. If it's implemented wrongly, it could be a little annoying don't you think? I don't want some app to tell me what to do!

      • http://droidzy.com/ Chethan Rao

        The idea basically is to make use of all the location data Foursquare has at its disposal. And users can always opt out of receiving location based suggestions, so it's not all that bad. I wouldn't mind trying this out personally.

        • http://tech-buzz.net/ Thilak Rao

          I personally wouldn't mind it as well, but there must be a balance. I don't always get out of my house to check out something (time constraints), but sometimes, I do.. but when I do, I research back at home before stepping out. But that's just my persona.

          As good product designer would always consider things like these.

  • Thatguyfromvienna

    I'm just not hipsterishious enough for Foursquare.

  • Spirit

    Foursquare is for what???

  • kabloink

    I like the assumption that all of us use Facebook or Twitter.

  • Leonardo Baez

    i find 4square very usefull for place recomendations. Take in mind that yelp or similar only works in the US, 4square is avaible in almost any country/region/city/small town.

  • http://www.allankintz.com ack154

    Foursquare is less and less about the "game" aspect and points. Sure, the mayorships and stuff are still fun, but it's more about recommendations and exploring. If you've ever traveled to a new city and used foursquare, you'd understand. It's a fanstastic resource for finding good food and things to do based on your current likes and dislikes (if you use the service on a semi-regular basis).