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.”

Product Review

August and Yale’s first lock brings looks, smarts, and a split personality

The first fruit of Yale’s acquisition of August, this enhanced Assure Lock SL Touchscreen Deadbolt is a definite upgrade on last year’s model, adding style and versatility to home security. Read our full review to learn more.

Want to set up your own virtual private network? Here's how

Take a look at our walkthrough for creating a virtual private network and why it is beneficial for more than just increased privacy and security. We go step by step, detailing how to set up a VPN in both MacOS and in Windows 10.
Home Theater

How to install an HD antenna for free TV

Today's TV antennas will get you loads of free over-the-air broadcast TV, but setting them up can be a challenge. We walk you through how to install a TV antenna, and provide tips on picking the best antenna for your home.
Smart Home

Our favorite smart thermostats let you stay warm without burning money

The right thermostat can do more than just adjust the temperature of your home, it can also learn about you and help you save money. Check out our picks for the best smart thermostats on the market right now.

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.

Google honors Veterans Day by highlighting military service stories

For Veterans Day, Google is honoring the heroes that served the country with a new Google Doodle that highlights the stories of five veterans from the five different branches of the military.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

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!

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for November 2018

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.

Bigger than Black Friday: Don’t miss the best Single’s Day deals

Thanks to AliExpress, Single's Day – the world's largest retail day – is no longer a foreign affair. If you're ready to do some early holiday shopping or want to score some discounts ahead of Black Friday, we've rounded up some of the…

Our favorite ebook reader is not a Kindle. Here are all the best options

If you're a bookworm, an ebook reader can be an important part of your life, one that allows you to read your books whenever and wherever you like. But which should you get? Here are five of the best ebook readers available.

Samsung made a $2,700 flip phone with the brains of a smartphone

The Samsung W2019 is a high-end flip phone that comes with flagship specifications such as 6GB of RAM and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845. The device features a pair of S-AMOLED displays, a dual rear camera setup, and an eye-popping price tag.

Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and Huawei face off in an Android battle royale

The good news is that there are some great options in the Android smartphone market right now. The bad news is that too much choice makes it tough to decide. We compare the Pixel 3 XL, the Galaxy Note 9, the OnePlus 6T, and the Mate 20 Pro.
Product Review

It's so fast it has a clip-on fan. But the Asus ROG phone isn't just for gamers

Is a gaming smartphone only something a mobile gamer should consider buying? In the case of the Asus ROG Phone, the good news is the device is so capable, and a genuinely impressive all-rounder, that everyone should take a closer look…

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.