Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

App of the week: Untappd

This week’s app has a boozy feel and comes in the form of Untappd, which is probably best described as a bit like Foursquare but for beer. When you’re drinking a beer – or cider, perry, ginger ale – you can ‘check in’ to it, to show your friends what you’re drinking.

There is, of course, more to it than just that. As you use Untappd more and more it’ll start offering suggestions of new brews to try. You can also rate each brew, and view the ratings offered by other users; plus, you can see which brews are the most popular at the present moment, both across the whole of Untappd and also in your local area.

Untappd also integrates with Foursquare so you can state which brew you’re drinking and also where you are drinking it at; this can be pushed to Foursquare as a checkin as well if you so wish. You can also include a picture and a short message with each checkin if you wish, and these can be posted to Facebook and Twitter as well.

Like Foursquare, there are also badges available; some for trying several brews of a certain type (‘Johnny Appleseed’ is a badge for 5 cider checkins for example), others for checking in to a certain number of beers, and some are special badges tied to competitions or promotions.

As with most services of its type, friends can be imported from Facebook or Twitter, and the home screen shows you what your friends are currently enjoying and where. The app is available for iOS and Android devices, but a web app is available for other mobile platforms; in fact, the native apps are a relatively recent addition – until then everyone used the web app.

It’s not yet perfect – the app feels a little clunky and lacks the polish of some other iOS apps, and there’s a bit of an American bias. But for a new service with only around 100,000 users this is to be expected – I’m sure things will improve over time.

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