Posts Tagged ‘ios’

Foursquare 5.0: Discovery and Recommendation

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

I’ve been using the upgraded version of the foursquare iOS app for the past couple weeks, and have definitely been curious about what it means for foursquare’s overall direction.

There’s more depth within the news feed – before, opening the app simply displayed a list of your friends and their recent checkin. It halfway felt like a news feed, but the checkin was the only data you were presented with. Now, you can see new friendships, tips being left, as well as back-to-back checkins. At first I found this annoying, but after getting used to it, the app feels more dynamic and real-time. The design also now matches the website more closely – especially with font choices.

While there’s obvious value to be had from an enterprise level by looking at everyone’s data on the whole, for me as a user, better recommendations are the most exciting prospect of foursquare’s future. When you look at the “Explore” tab, you’re presented with a stream of potential places. These can range from nearby venues that have a large number of current checkins, venues your friends frequently visit, and venues that fit a certain category (shopping, dinner , etc).

While this is great, I’d love to see even more advanced recommendations that lean heavily on what you’ve done in the past.

For me, the holy grail of foursquare lies in this potential:

Here’s where you’ve been, so based on the time and date, as well as what your friends are doing, here’s the one best thing you should do right now.

They’ve taken a large step in this direction and I can’t wait to see what’s next.



TweetDeck iOS App

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

A couple days ago, TweetDeck dropped a completely revamped version of their iOS app.

Most of the interface elements make perfect sense, but take a little time getting used to. Pinching columns out for an overhead view works great, but it’s not intuitively obvious. It’d be great to see some kind of overlay when first signing in that shows an example of the gesture. It’s the same problem that plagues Twitter for Mac and Twitter for iPad. They have some awesome three-finger gestures that work brilliantly, but they’re tucked away far too deep.

The inverted scrollbar is a little strange at first; most apps use the center of the bar to indicate your position, but TweetDeck uses the bottom of the bar to show where you are. And when you scroll up, the bar shortens instead of moving. Again, once you get used to it, it’s a great experience. I love the way that column headers are represented when viewing, though – the shadow of the notification light when viewing unread tweets looks really slick.

Performance is also vastly improved – even on my iPhone 3G, scrolling is smooth, and the app locks into your swipe between columns much better. No one enjoys highlighting a tweet when you’re intending to switch columns.

Aside from a few quirks, this app is much more polished than the previous iteration. Hit up the download!

Twitter Made a Mistake

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

In a recent announcement and in an update to their terms of service, Twitter is now saying that they should be the sole developer of clients, justifying the decision with a claim that everyone should access Twitter with the same experience.

Say what?

I’ve been a huge fan and compulsive user of third-party access points for years. Different people have vastly different needs, and trying to enforce a “one size fits all” policy just won’t work. Now that these clients have huge loyalties and userbases, choosing this time to bring down the iron fist makes little to no sense. If the strategy from the beginning was to only offer one way to access the platform, fine. That makes sense. Users would adopt Twitter with that mentality, grow with that mentality, no problem. But don’t tease us with the sweet, sweet water of clients and then threaten to take them away. Granted, existing clients will likely remain, but I’m worried Twitter won’t hit its potential without new developers contributing to the ecosystem.

Because some of Twitter’s best features (retweets, hashtags, etc.) have come from crowdsourced adoption and development. It was only after third-party implementations that Twitter built these features into their site. Why stifle innovation by bringing things down to one point of access? Clients should be praised as a way to bring even more eyes onto Twitter, not condemned for “confusing users”.

There’s also a strange bit of irony in the sense that Twitter’s official iOS and OS X app originated from and was acquired from an individual developer.

Give me TweetDeck or give me death! Okay, maybe that was a slight stretch.