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Foursquare 6.0 finally brings Explore recommendations to center stage

Foursquare 6.0 finally brings Explore recommendations to center stage

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When Foursquare launched in 2009, it was all about checking in and seeing where your friends were hanging out. A couple years later, the company had gathered over 3.5 billion check-ins across the world. CEO Dennis Crowley flipped a switch, and all of a sudden, Foursquare was about helping you find the best (or perhaps, most relevant) place to have brunch. The company's recommendations engine, Explore, quickly became the most useful part of its app, eclipsing Yelp as the de facto restaurant ratings app for many. Yet until today, Foursquare's mobile app oddly still focused on a simple feed of friends' whereabouts. It took more than three taps before you could start searching for the best fish taco places.

Today, Foursquare launched version 6.0 of its iPhone app, finally giving Explore the treatment it deserves. When you open the app, you'll first notice that an Explore search box now adorns the app's top navigation bar, replacing the Foursquare logo entirely. A revamped auto-complete engine serves results far faster than before. The friend feed is no longer a list of friends, but is instead a lively combination of recommendations, trending places, and people you know nearby. Less-used features that previously lived inside the "Me" tab now inhabit a drawer that slides out from the app's left side.

Setting visuals aside, the new app trims down the functionality of the main feed (like letting you swap between seeing Nearby and All friends) in favor of elevating trending places and recommendations. Whenever you open the app, it now responds to the date, time, and your location in more tangible ways than before. For example, Foursquare might say "You're at MUJI, here's where people go afterwards," or "Welcome to Paris, here are some places your friends like." If it's dinner time, the app will exclusively recommend places it thinks are good dinner spots.

Foursquare 6.0 is yet another update in the company's almost outrageously speedy app release cycle. In fact, the company already released a few of these features inside its Android app in order to gather data before a wider launch on iPhone. It seems just weeks ago that Foursquare moved the check-in button to the quite visible top right corner of the app, but now, the check-in button is at the bottom of the app. It's tough to trust Foursquare, which is liable to change up its user interface on a weekly basis — but if that means it's easier to find the best Eggs Benedict in the East Village, that might not be such a bad thing.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

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Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


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Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


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Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


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Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
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Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


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Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


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If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


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Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.