Foursquare, love it or hate it, is a major player in the burgeoning geolocation check-in service industry. Their apps are important for usage of the service, allowing for users to check-in to the locations they visit, so friends can see where they are visiting, and to discover popular hangouts in their city. What this new update provides are expanded notifications from the service. Users can now get notifications of when other Foursquare users comment on check-ins, when friends sign up for Foursquare, alerts about tips on Foursquare, alerts about when a user’s Foursquare mayorship is usurped, along with more of these “beyond check-in” notifications. These should hopefully expand users’ Foursquare experiences, and get them more relevant information when they need it.
What’s most interesting about this update? Android is getting the notifications update first. While this is also available on the web Foursquare, Android is the first mobile client to get access to these new notifications. Typically, iOS gets notifications support first, in part because Apple’s notification system, while flawed, is superior for instant updating due to all notifications running through Apple’s servers; Google’s C2DM (cloud to device messaging) goes more unused, and applications usually utilize interval-based notification checking. So, for a notification service to launch on Android first is big news, and a major push for notifications on Android. These features will likely hit iOS and Blackberry as well, but Android users get a lucky first crack at them.
While Foursquare remains a service that is geared more toward residents of larger cities (Foursquare was founded in Chicago, a city with plenty of places to check-in, and one of the most popular cities on the service), and updates to services like Twitter can clog a person’s feed without providing any relevant information, especially for followers who are not residents of that person’s city, its popularity is difficult to question, and this new update is a real benefit for Android users. Foursquare is available for free from the Android Market.
Source: Talk Android