Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Foursquare Thursday – Footfeed

Today I’m making up for there being no App of the Week post yesterday by posting about a Foursquare app today.

Footfeed isn’t just a Foursquare app though – it allows you to simultaneously check in to the same venue on Gowalla and Facebook Places, and update your location on Google Latitude. What makes it really useful is that you can manually update venue matches to ensure you’re checked into the right venue and not just what the computer thinks is correct. This is really useful when you have friends on each different location-based network and want your checkins to be viewable by everyone. You can also post checkins to Twitter, and leave a comment which will show on your checkins where supported. A separate tab shows nearby special deals – not just from Foursquare and Facebook Places, but other services as well.

Unfortunately the app is far from perfect. Because it includes all of the venues from Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places, the list of venues to check in to is long, and is only sorted by distance – not by popularity or whether you’ve been there before. The data is also old, and doesn’t reflect any tidying up done on on Foursquare for example – this means venues may be in the wrong place, or duplicates aren’t shown as merged. Similarly, information about special deals is out of date and doesn’t show any recently added ones.

Data issues aside, the app has a few bugs. You can’t use a password with special characters in the iPhone app, even though the web site permits you. It’s also prone to crashing a bit. The app hasn’t been updated for months, and support is also lacking as well – about a month ago, Foursquare checkins stopped working for around a week.

GPS performances is poor – it’s quite slow (usually takes at least 5-6 seconds to return a list of venues) and it will only work outside or where’s there’s a strong GPS signal. Compare this to the official Foursquare app which can locate places in 2-3 seconds and can work indoors, using either a poor GPS signal, mobile mast triangulation or (I think) Geo-IP information. This generally means that if you’ve gone into a venue, you won’t be able to check in on Footfeed until you go outside again.

Footfeed is far from perfect, and could really do with some major improvements. But, that aside, it does work quite well at allowing you to push your check-ins to several location based networks. Footfeed is available for iPhone, Android and Nokia smartphones.

Comments are closed.