Dropbox and MIT alumni launch Inbox start-up
A new cross-platform email application start-up has been released by Dropbox and MIT alumni, billed as a "next generation" platform. Inbox offers a way to build apps that access end users' inboxes, working with Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft Exchange and more. The platform does not require the use of IMAP, and so can support a wider range of developers who can create a wider range of email tools, such as snoozing messages, or sending emails on behalf of an end user.
App launches two weeks after announcement, search, plan and sharing features outlined
Swarm, the spin off app taking over the social features of Foursquare, is launching tomorrow on Android and iOS according to the company's Twitter account. Several bits of information have been released by the company ahead of the release, including the ability to post plans for all friends in the city to see, neighborhood sharing and history search. Some details, such as neighborhood sharing, were outlined when the app was announced at the beginning of the month.
New app splits social component from discovery capabilities of Foursquare
After years of opening up Foursquare to check into locations in hopes of becoming "the mayor," it appears that the application is going to go through significant changes. Rather than being a single app used to find friends and new locations, the company is splitting the application in half with the announcement of a second application.
Some users seeing Facebook Places info rather than Foursquare data
Facebook has started testing location information embedding, looking at integrating Facebook Places data into Instagram. Instagram currently uses Foursquare data for geotagging and attaching photo data to a location. Neither Facebook nor Foursquare have any comment on the matter, and a wholesale replacement of the photo tag data source doesn't appear to be underway in any more than a small scale test to a limited subset of users.
Windows Phone virtual assistant could offer suggestions from Foursquare
Microsoft will use data from Foursquare in its rumored virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, thanks to a $15 million investment in the company, according to a report. The location data gleaned from Foursquare will apparently be put to use in "Cortana," a virtual assistant named after the artificial intelligence character from the Halo series of games.
Option comes to iOS, Android, web
The iOS, Android, and web versions of Foursquare now all support placing restaurant delivery orders from within the app itself, their developer has announced. The option is the result of a partnership with the recently merged GrubHub/Seamless. When looking at a restaurant's details in the app, users just have to spot a GrubHub or Seamless logo and tap "order delivery."
Further refines look for iOS 7
Check-in service Foursquare has released a major update of its iOS app, v7.0. Building on earlier releases, the interface has been evolved to bring it further in line with iOS 7. The most significant addition however may be an expanded push notification system, capable of alerting people to the most interesting things about a new location without having the app open. At a restaurant, for example, notifications may point out the most popular menu item, or food on discount.
Constantly checks for nearby venues
Check-in service Foursquare has released an important update of its iOS app, v6.4. In keeping with a recent Android update, the app now supports automatic recommendations. The feature operates in the background, regularly scanning location to provide suggestions for nearby venues like coffeeshops and restaurants. It also coalesces comment keywords to give hints about what people buy at a given place.
Foursquare now lets users check friends in
Foursquare has released a new update for its Android and iOS apps that allows users to check in their friends. When checking in, users now have the option to add who they are with from a list of friends. Anyone added will then be sent a notification asking for permission to check them in, and approving once will enable the feature indefinitely. A notification will always be provided when being checked in by a friend, and a delete button can be used to get rid of any unwanted check ins. In addition, the update also adds a number of new filters in Explore that can be used to filter searches.
Samsung releases wireless charging pad, battery cover for Galaxy S4
Samsung has put a wireless charging system for the Galaxy S4 up for sale. The wireless charging pad and separate battery cover, costing $50 and $40 respectively, both use the same Qi charging system that's available for the Nokia Lumia 920. This allows the Galaxy S4 equipped with the cover to be charged on any other Qi-standard charging base, as well as Samsung's own.
Highlights nearby points of interest
Check-in service Foursquare has released v6.0 of its iPhone app, making some significant changes. The Explore section has been moved out from a separate tab at the bottom of the screen, and is now a core function of the app, highlighting nearby points of interest based on check-ins by other users. Search has been made easier, thanks to an immediately accessible search bar, and a faster auto-complete feature.
Attempts to compete with third-party clients
Check-in service Foursquare is updating its official iPhone app later today, according to a blog post. The new version will let people do faster check-ins via a two-step process, skipping the standard options for commenting, adding a photo, or sharing across other social networks. After tapping the check-in button, users will just have to press and hold their location to complete a post.
Foursquare to make more user information and data public
Move expected to bolster Maps, potentially Siri as well
According to sources familiar with the matter, Apple is in early discussions to integrate local information culled by Foursquare Labs in future offerings for the iOS and OS X. The talks, led by Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue, are being run in parallel with discussions at other companies that collect local data to improve what is viewed as a flawed initial offering of Apple's own map and navigation application.
Facebook iOS app to mimic feature from Google+
Facebook is testing automatic photo uploads for its iOS app, Engadget reports. A select public trial group is said to have its hands on a tweaked version of the app with a new feature called Photo Sync. In a manner similar to Instant Upload for Google+, Photo Sync pushes new photos to an unpublished album, where people can later select them for posts or organized collections.
Steven Rosenblatt joins Foursquare in new position
Location tracking and check-in service Foursquare has hired its first Revenue Chief. Ex-Apple iAd executive Steven Rosenblatt has been hired to fill the newly created position. Foursquare's former head of business development, Tristan Walker, filled the role of revenue chief before leaving early this month.
Smartphone users Facebook for longer than PC users
A new analysis undertaken by comScore, using its new Mobile Metrix 2.0 tool, has shown that mobile apps are driving most of the time spent on social networks like Facebook, overtaking traditional computer-based browser access. The typical Facebook user was found to spend 441 minutes of their time accessing the site through their smartphone, which compared with an average of 391 spent by users surfing the site from their computer. A similar trend was seen for mobile-centric brands including Twitter, Pinterest and Foursquare, highlighting the increasingly post-PC nature of Internet use.
Tap-based location sharing comes to Foursquare
BlackBerry users will now be able to quickly share their locations, thanks to today's update to the Foursuare app. The update (BlackBerry App World) implements NFC (near field communications) on certain BlackBerry models, such as the Bold 9900, to let users simply tap their handsets on NFC stickers to share their locations.
Windows Phone app subsidies now more direct
Microsoft's financial support of Windows Phone ports of iOS and Android apps is more direct than once thought, an investigation uncovered late Thursday. While the full extent of the catalog isn't known, the New York Times found that Microsoft paid outright to cover development of Foursquare's Windows Phone app and did the same for a third-party making a dedicated Facebook app on the social network's behalf. Rovio's sudden reversal on Angry Birds Space has raised suspicions that Microsoft, after learning Rovio wouldn't voluntarily port to Windows Phone, quickly offered cash.
Girl tracking app maker claims to support privacy
The developer of controversial girl tracking app Girls Around Me, i-Free, has issued a statement on Sunday defending the app. It told the Wall Street Journal that it withdrew the app voluntarily after the Foursquare block rendered the app inactive. The Russian firm argued that, despite a heavy marketing focus on messaging and tracking women, that there was a "serious misunderstanding" of what the app was meant for.
Girls Around Me app gets tossed over privacy issue
A controversial iOS app has promptly been pulled and blocked over major legal and privacy concerns. Girls Around Me (App Store, no longer active) had advertised itself as using Foursquare check-ins and a Facebook sign-in to find nearby women who had recently checked in with publicly visible Facebook profiles. The app not only showed how to find them on Google Maps but encouraged the presumably male users to message and otherwise get in touch with these girls without their knowledge or consent.
Info uploadable from Twitter
Foursquare has aadded a new level of personal information that can be shared with others. The social activity sharing site will let users publish a brief biography of themselves for other Foursquare members to see while they are interacting. Users can input the biographical information manually or directly import it from a Twitter account, with a chance to edit it before it goes live.
Apple, Path, Facebook, others in lawsuit sights
A new lawsuit (below) filed last week and uncovered on Friday by CNET could try and take Apple and key iOS app writers to task for alleged unapproved contact access. The potential class action case accuses those who've admitted to any access, such as Path, Twitter, and Instagram, of violating privacy by becoming "mobile radio beacons" that were "broadcasting and publicly exposing" contact lists to everyone. Questionably, however, it also names the developers of numerous other unverified apps of doing the same thing, including Beluga, Burbn, Chillingo, EA, Facebook, Foursquare, Foodspotting, Hipster, Gowalla, Kik, LinkedIn, Rovio (Angry Birds), and ZeptoLab (Cut the Rope).
Oink shuts down under claims of test
Tech idea incubator Milk posted notice Wednesday that it was shutting down its local rating service Oink. While the iOS app had already stopped checking for new updates, the company told users they would have until March 31 before the site and existing content would be taken down. The company argued that Oink was its "first test" in quickly building ideas and that it wanted focus as it was "preparing to move onto the next project."
Foursquare now shows doors-open dates
Foursquare helped kick off South by Southwest on Friday by adding business hours to locations. An addition to the page lets restaurants and shops tell nearby Foursquare users whether or not they can visit. Provisions exist for special hours as well, such as free admission at a museum or happy hour for a bar.
OpenStreetMap known to be used in iPhoto for iOS
Discoveries late Wednesday that Apple had dropped Google Maps data in iPhoto for iOS were reinforced Thursday after OpenStreetMap confirmed that its data was being used for the app. Information for at least non-US areas was being derived from the crowd-sourced mapping. While not said, any cosmetic changes were Apple's work, something it's allowed to do as long as it doesn't alter data.
Foursquare customizes OpenStreetMap
Spotify and Foursquare get special features
Two major mobile apps got updates for special features at the end of the week. Spotify on iOS (App Store) now has the option to both stream and sync audio at 320Kbps, the same quality as it exists on the desktop. While it requires either a more intensive Internet connection or extra storage for cached tracks, it puts the app's audio quality ahead of other on-demand music rivals.
Foursquare 4.2 packs Explore remake and more
Foursquare updated its iOS (App Store) and Android (Market) apps Wednesday to roll in some of the features seen from the web. Explore now has contextual results for locations, such as pushing restaurants to the top at dinnertime, what friends have been doing, and whether they're on lists. A filter lets users skew the results to look for undiscovered places or those friends visit frequently.
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.
Navigation company embraces social networking
Although Garmin would seem to fit in better at CES rather than the Macworld iWorld expo, the navigation company brought its latest iOS apps to San Francisco this week to show off the latest features. MacNN played around with the updated version of StreetPilot onDemand, which now enables users to take advantage of social networking features.
Menus added to Explore section
Foursquare has announced that it has added restaurant menus to its range of web-based services. The company has collaborated with SinglePlatform to power the new feature, which is said to cover more than 13 million items at nearly 250,000 different restaurants in major US cities.
Gowalla to ramp down after Facebook takeover
Gowalla co-founder Josh Williams confirmed Monday the talk that his company had been bought by Facebook. The location check-in service is now due to ramp down by the end of January as most of the team moves to Palo Alto. Users should get an option to export their current and legacy data, including photos, and won't see the data handed over.
Facebook sets up Foursquare rivalry with Gowalla
Facebook was reported as having bought check-in service Gowalla. Contacts explained to CNN that chief executive Josh Williams and most of the staff would relocate to Facebooks' Palo Alto headquarters, with some staying behind in Austin. Unusually, they wouldn't work directly on Facebook Places' check-ins, instead switching to the Facebook Timeline revamp of the profile page.
Save to foursquare button added to interface
Foursquare has announced that its services have been expanded to allow users to save locations that are posted on many websites. A "save to Foursquare" button has been added to participating websites, providing a way to bookmark the map location for future reference without leaving the browser. Saved locations are then automatically added to the Foursquare To-Do List.
BERG Little Printer provides social hard copies
BERG stirred attention Tuesday with a return to print tailored just for mobile. The Little Printer talks to an iPhone or Android phone to subscribe to "publications" that can print out multiple times a day. They include regular content like birthdays, Sudoku puzzles, and weather, but also pro content like news from The Guardian, to-do lists from Google, and even periodic Foursquare check-in updates.
Vita memory cards priced from $30 to $120
Video game retailer GameStop has potentially revealed US pricing information for the unique memory cards that the PlayStation Vita will use. The 4GB card will cost $30, an 8GB one $45, 16GB will be $70, and the 32GB version will cost $120. This is somewhat similar to the prices of the cards for the PSP system at GameStop, which are $38 and $51 for the 4GB and 8GB cards, respectively, and $125 for the 32GB version.
Foursquare tackles iPad with location-aware page
Foursquare picked Tuesday to show a heavily redesigned version of its main website. The page depends on HTML5 and uses it for a fully location-aware map; users can browse nearby areas without having to search for them or use their phones. The interface is also suited to the iPad, although users can't yet check in.
Foursquare Radar goes live for iOS 5 first
Foursquare put the iPhone back at the front of its app priorities with an update to its iOS app (App Store). Radar uses iOS 5-specific background location features to automatically notify a user when close to a given location. It can at a minimum send a notice when friends have recently checked in nearby, but it will also flag unused locations on a to-do list to remind users when they're close.
Foursquare reaches milestone with new app feature
Foursquare marked its billionth check-in last week by launching a new version of its mobile apps. Version 3.5 of the Android (Market), BlackBerry (App World), and iOS (App Store) releases now or will soon have the lists feature once only available on the web. Along with the to-do list, it includes any custom-created list, such as favorite coffee shops or sushi places.
Pew study shows rapid takeup of location apps
Over a quarter of the US uses some kind of online location service, Pew discovered Tuesday. About 28 percent have used Google Maps or a similar location service at least on the web. With smartphone owners, that number more than doubles to 58 percent, researchers said.
Find My Friends HTML pops up
The possibility of Apple's Find My Friends feature grew stronger Saturday after web code was distributed by an anonymous source. While exploring a support system for the outgoing MobileMe, the AppleInsider contact found a block of code for tasks such as viewing the followed or following lists, statuses, and bans. Also mentioned are photo and video streams that might tie the support system or Find My Friends into iCloud's Photo Stream feature.
Adds augmented reality to learning experience
Rutgers University has made the iPad 2 an integral part of its Digital Mini-MBA program. The school's Center for Management Development (CMD) will be providing an iPad 2 as part of an upcoming four-day executive program it will be offering in September. The tablet will be preloaded with all instructional material as well as several augmented reality apps.
Goes beyond local reviews, gets personal
Ness Computing has launched its first app, a restaurant recommendation app called Ness that the company says goes beyond gathering crowd-sourced reviews, using social-media data mining, user interaction learning and natural language processing to try and gauge both quality and popularity of a given establishment. The app gathers mentions and reviews from other services that contain the name of the restaurant in order to present an even broader cross-section of opinion.
Foursquare teams with others on event check-ins
Foursquare just revealed that it will add specific events to its popular check-in app. For example, users will now have the option to select the movie they're seeing when they check in to a local movie theater. This translates to concerts and other events as well.
PSVita gets free social and VoIP from the start
Sony's Gamescom keynote on Tuesday saw it give future PSVita buyers a slew of social apps for when the console is ready. The handheld will have apps available on or near launch for Facebook, Foursquare, Skype, and Twitter. All will be free in the PlayStation Store.
Problems quickly addressed
Amazon appears to have resolved an outage that affected the company's EC2 operations based in Northern Virginia. The problems reportedly brought down services from a wide range of websites, including Foursquare, Instagram, Netflix, Reddit and Quora, among others. The problems were isolated to the EC2 East-1 location, rather than both of Amazon's EC2 datacenters in the US.
Foursquare, Groupon reach real-time ad deal
Canadian and US Foursquare users will begin seeing Groupon's daily deals in the Explore tab of the Foursquare app and on the site starting Friday, Mashable claimed. Foursquare already has similar services onboard, including LivingSocial, Gilt City, AT&T Interactive, BuyWithMe and Zozi. Chicago area users are now getting the Groupon deals through Foursquare, with all users in Canada and the US expected to get them by Sunday.
Google Maps 5.8 for Android adds photo uploads
Google on Wednesday afternoon pushed out Google Maps 5.8 for Android users (Android Market) with a new photo component. Similar to Foursquare, users can now tag a place with photos to give a sense of the area or just to evoke a memory. Any shots snapped for Google Maps are automatically put in a special album in Android's Gallery for quick access later.
Kootol sends notice to Apple on messaging patent
Unknown software house Kootol on Friday sent notice to many companies claiming that they allegedly violate a messaging patent. It targets a wide swath of the industry that includes Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Foursquare, Microsoft, Nokia, RIM, Twitter, and others all allegedly violate a patent for "Method and System for Communication, Advertising, Searching, Sharing and Dynamically Providing a Journal Feed." Unusually, Kootol doesn't actually have the patent and is instead acting on a Notice of Allowance that lets it act on the patent but still requires that it pay for the patent later.