Forecast wants to take us back to the future and update the check-in app

logoAs we’ve been noticing, there’s a lot of transition going on in the location app environment. Developers are trying to pinpoint how much is too much sharing, and when exactly we want to broadcast our physical locations. They’re also trying to enable users to track and mark what they do and where seamlessly, in a more natural, real-time sense.

And as you’d expect, the attempts are fraught with problems. Privacy is only one of those issues; logistics and user experience have proven to have their own set of unique difficulties.

Despite any and all of this, one more app is going to take on location. Foresight is launching the next iteration of its app with Foresight 2.0. There are a few big changes the app, the most significant arguably being its integration with Timeline. It’s own web access to the app shouldn’t go unnoticed though.

forecastIf you haven’t heard of Forecast, you can start with the fact that creator René Pinnell sees it as “Timeline for the future.” The app’s model is fairly simple: you create a Forecast, something you plan on doing and where – i.e., happy hour at a local bar. You send the Forecast out (it’s linked with Foursquare), and then a future check in of what you plan on doing is created. Users are able to push updates to their phone’s notifications so they have a running schedule or what their friends are doing and where and when.

If you’re anything like us, then you’re asking “what’s the need?” Isn’t this just adding a functionality to already available check-in apps? According to Pinnell, the planning element of these options is anything but fail safe. “There is this idea… that you can check in somewhere and a nearby friend will see it and meet you,” he tells us. “It’s part of the reason I got so excited about Foursquare and the location app explosion a couple years ago. The problem is it just doesn’t happen that often.”

“You check in a thousand times on Foursquare and maybe a few times it’s led to meeting friends nearby.”

And that unreliability is why the seamless location app might be flawed. From early reviews of these trendsetting applications, they simply won’t work if no one is checking in near you. “I’m a huge believer in serendipity and the magic behind those connections,” says Pinnell. “We’re giving the opportunity for them to happen more often by pushing the future aspect.”

Pinnell says Forecasts have a very high conversion rate – about 80-percent. Of course that’s relative to the user number, but that number has been growing.

forecastIt seems like there’s a continuum of sorts here: apps like Highlight leave too much to chance, Foursquare too little. Forecast is trying to find the sweet spot between them.

Forecast’s Facebook integration means you can plan and create Forecasts through the social network, and they will be recorded to your personal Timeline as well.

But Forecast isn’t only concerned with your future plans — it’s working on its own road map too. There are a few monetization strategies in the mix, all of them leveraging consumers’ location and check-in data for brands and businesses. For instance, if users were checking in to go to happy hour, they might get a suggested check-in and deal offer from a karaoke joint nearby. The high conversion rate of Forecast could make this particularly attractive to local business owners. Pinnell assures us that despite its profit scheme, the user experience is what comes first, saying Forecast wants to “build the social part first, the business second.”

Home Theater

Apple is arming up to redefine TV just like it did the phone

Curious about what Apple's answer to Netflix will be? Us too. So we combed through some patents, and looked at the landscape, to come up with a bold prediction: Apple's streaming service will be way bigger than anyone thinks.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (February 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.

Flip from portrait to landscape as we reveal how to rotate a video on iPhone

If you've accidentally shot a video in portrait orientation and you want to flip to landscape, then this is the guide for you. We'll explain how to use iMovie to rotate a video on your iPhone or iPad for free and suggest alternative apps.

Protect your iPhone or iPad with the IPVanish VPN, on sale through February

One of our favorite virtual private networks for iPhones and iPads, IPVanish, is now offering a huge discount on its two-year subscription as part of its 7th-birthday promotion. Read on to find out more about how this VPN works and how you…

Verizon is launching real standards-based 5G in 30 cities in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.

Samsung’s wide range of Galaxy products means there’s something for everyone

Samsung launched a host of new products on February 20, with prices ranging from just $35, all the way up to nearly $2,000. This was not by chance, and the company believes it has something for everyone in 2019.

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs. OnePlus 6T: Can the Flagship Killer survive?

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the new affordable flagship on the block, but at $750, it's $200 more than the OnePlus 6T. Does the Flagship Killer stand a chance against the new generation of flagship devices? Let's take a closer look.

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for February 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are a brilliant combination of value and comfort

With six hours of battery life, an extremely comfortable fit, sweatproofing, and a very palatable price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are putting all other true wireless earbuds on notice.

Amazon drops a sweet deal on the Kate Spade Scallop smartwatch for women

Unlike many other smartwatches geared toward women, the Kate Spade Scallop offers a more chic and minimalistic look. With this Amazon sale going on right now, you can get it for $109 off its retail price.

Lyft’s Shared Saver service offers cheaper rides, but you’ll have to walk a little

Lyft has launched a new ride option called Shared Saver that offers cheaper rides if you're willing to walk a little. Shared Saver designates a nearby pick-up point and drops you off a short distance from your final destination.

The 5 best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods, nice as they are, aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, and if you're looking to buy a pair of high-end in-ear headphones, we've got the best AirPod alternatives on the…