Hands on: Foursquare’s Windows 8 app ditches gamification for local discovery

foursquare windows 8 app hands on

In the four years since Foursquare existed and the two that I started using it, I never quite figured out who Foursquare was for: Me or my friends? On one hand, the app is a handy tool for searching local recommendations filled with tips and photos. Conversely, Foursquare is also a thrifty way of stalking where your buddies are hanging out, or boasting to friends about that day you clocked in at 6 a.m. and finally got your hands on a Cronut. 

With the newly launched Foursquare Windows 8 app, however, all eyes are definitely on you this time around. The app, which was announced back in June during Microsoft Build, peruses Windows 8’s best attribute – live tiles – to make the discovery experience more beautiful than before. It’s also Foursquare’s first desktop app, perhaps hinting at the possibility of the company’s larger foray into native app development.

foursquare windows 8 app hands on

Why Foursquare decided that a desktop app was necessary for a mobile, location-based discovery app is beyond us. But from what we can tell, the app is geared toward users who can give two cents about their friend’s check-ins and more on what’s physically nearby. Upon signing in, large, square photos highlight the places you’ve been. A swipe to the left side of the screen maps your current location and local recommendations, while a right navigation shows what’s trending or just opened. Each business comes with a numerical rating and, if available, check-in specials to entice your curiosity. You can also click on your own profile to see recent check-in history, friend requests, and tips and photos you’ve posted. 

4sq Windows 8

What is notably missing (or at least made unimportant) in the Windows 8 app is the gamification of Foursquare. Some users love checking into random places just to win badges or claim mayorship. The Windows 8 Foursquare strays away from highlighting any of that, and instead focuses on the places you could go for the real world experience of them. It converts the concept of what seems theoretically cool and encourages you to make it reality.

You could swipe a drop-down menu to check in, like, dislike, or comment on various businesses straight from the desktop app as well, but assuming you’re not taking your laptop to each of these places, a phone will be much more discreet. Again, this version of the app does not focus on the checking-in aspect of Foursquare – just the curiosity.

4sq Windows 8 Shake ShackIs the Foursquare Windows 8 app necessary if you already use the mobile version? Technically no. It doesn’t offer more than what you’ve already got going on in your hands other than larger photos and a nicer-looking interface. But for those who are sick of looking to Yelp for local recommendations and photos, the Foursquare Windows 8 app is a good alternative for personal discovery. You don’t have to sort through essays of biased opinions and instead look at giant pictures and short tips to make your own decisions about a business.

The best part? You don’t even need a Foursquare account to search what’s nearby. Building this tool in for a Windows PC user makes Foursquare a friendlier option than asking Google or Bing for boring, unpersonalized results. The launch of this app is a big win for Microsoft, as similar UIs can be found nowhere else on Android or iOS. We could only wonder how long that’ll last before Foursquare decides to develop an equally pretty version for OS X.


Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Capture screenshots with print screen and a few alternative methods

Capturing a screenshot of your desktop is easier than you might think, and it's the kind of thing you'll probably need to know. Here's how to perform the important function in just a few, easy steps.

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick -- the Asus ZenBook UX331UA -- will get the job done without digging too deeply into your pockets.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Vanquish lag for good with the best routers for gaming

Finding the best routers for gaming is no easy task. With so many out there, how do you know which to pick? We've looked at the many options available and put together a list of our lag-free favorites.

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Product Review

It's not the sharpest tool, but the Surface Go does it all for $400

Microsoft has launched the $400 Surface Go to take on both the iPad and Chromebooks, all without compromising its core focus on productivity. Does it work as both a tablet and a PC?

These Raspberry Pi 3 bundles will cover everyone, from coders to gamers

The Raspberry Pi 3 is a low-budget computing platform capable of doing just about anything. We rounded up a handful of the best Raspberry Pi 3 bundles to get you started on a variety of DIY projects.

5 reasons your Macbook keeps restarting and how to fix the issue

It can be frustrating when your Apple MacBook keeps restarting, but this serious problem can be fixed! We'll go over the common causes for this issue, what you can do to fix them, and why it's okay to take your Mac to a pro!
Product Review

How does the sleek MateBook X Pro hold up to the modern day competition?

Huawei impressed us with the MateBook X, a solid competitor to the 12-inch MacBook that beat Apple at its own game. Now, Huawei is taking a shot at premium 14-inchers with the MateBook X Pro, but it’s not without oddities – like a…
Product Review

Why spend more? The Yoga Chromebook outdoes most laptops for $600

The Yoga Chromebook features great build quality, a 1080p display, and all-day battery life. All that for $540? That’s right, but there’s one catch.