updated 01:10 pm EST, Fri February 3, 2012
Tech, opt-ins withheld Foursquare auto check-ins
Foursquare product head Alex Rainert disclosed in a quick interview Friday that the app would be getting automatic check-ins over time. He explained to Business Insider that the team had wanted people to check in simply by going to a location but that it was matter of "technical restraints" and design. The Radar feature for iOS 5 users was a step in that direction, according to Rainert.
iOS 5 adds important features for geofencing and background location checking that can trigger app behavior by getting close. Radar uses it to notify users of specials nearby, while Apple most often uses it for Reminders flags, such as a notice to do something when leaving work or getting home. It could theoretically be used to check in automatically similar to the way Google Latitude can on Android.
Permission would be the other half of the implementation. The company wouldn't check in users without asking, Rainert said. Instead, it would prompt the user when close and offer to check them in. Notices could also be cued to historical patterns and prompt only when it knows that it's a location the user is likely to frequent.
Rainert didn't give a timeline for the Foursquare update.