March 12, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Foursquare has updated its Android app as part of a multiple-OS refresh before the South by Southwest festival. But while the iPhone version of the app got a beautiful makeover last week, the Foursquare for Android app remains the blue-headed stepchild. The interface remains bland graphically and doesn’t include the easy access to Shout or Check-In like the iPhone version of the app.
Foursquare has at least updated its Android app to include a direct “Friends” stream and a new “Me” tab. The previous version of Foursquare had only two tabs and would load a list of nearby locations to check-in; the new version goes directly to the tab revealing the activities of a user’s friends. Pressing the “Me” tab will reveal the user’s recent check-in history, and the “Nearby” tab has been replaced by the “Places” tab showing nearby locations (with check-ins, map, and tips).
I’ve only been a Foursquare user for about two weeks but I’ve been disappointed by the force close errors I experienced and the clumsy pinpointing of my location. There have been some obvious bug fixes in this release because I’ve yet to get a force close error and location is more accurate; however, I still feel like the app could use a better looking interface and shortcut to the “Shout” feature rather than having to press Menu to get it.
I’ve been comparing Foursquare to Gowalla and found Gowalla to be the better app. I’m still leaning on sticking with Foursquare if I decide to continue using a check-in app, but only because it has more locations and it’s the only one people I know use. (Though only 3 of my friends are part of the 500,000 registered Foursquare users, so that’s not saying much).