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Foursquare will begin pushing recommendations to Android notification drawer

News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday August 29, 2013.

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Foursquare started as a place to check-in at bars and restaurants, morphed into an app to discover bars and restaurants, and is now an app that will tell you which venues to attend and what to order once you get there. A new version of Foursquare will begin actively notifying users about popular places to attend in a new neighborhood. Someone walking down the street might suddenly get a notification that Joe's is a popular burger joint two blocks away. Should that person decide to visit Joe's, a notification will pop-up revealing that his or her friend Mike left a Foursquare tip to try the lamb burger.

Foursquare touts its new version as a "smarter" version of the app that focuses less on check-ins and more on discovery, a theme the company's actually been repeating since last year. What's different about this incarnation of Foursquare is that users won't have to actively seek information; it will be sent to them based on location awareness. The app uses the many data points at Foursquare's disposal - tips, check-ins, and business directories - to know what specific dishes are popular and what establishments are likely to appeal to the user. Foursquare promises minimal battery drain of 0.7 percent per hour, meaning a phone that normally lasts 10 hours would lose less than 5 minutes of battery time.

If someone accepts the tiny loss of phone time, he or she might take issue with being notified about recommendations of places to visit. People who take issue with that feature will be able to disable Foursquare notifications, but others will be nudged occasionally about where to eat and drink. The app will monitor location and not send recommendations frequently in recognized area, so the notifications are more likely to appear when in a new neighborhood or city, not on the morning commute from home to work.

A small group of Android users - "thousands," according to Foursquare - will begin seeing the notifications starting today. The company is still testing its new "smarter" Foursquare and will not release it to everyone for several months. At the moment, Foursquare is trying to use the test period to fine-tune its pushed notifications and see how users respond. An iOS version will not arrive until after the feature has been rolled out to Android.

source: Foursquare

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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