Seven months after re-launching itself as an app for exploring neighborhoods, Foursquare is now available for iPad. The big-screen version of Foursquare is built to help you find bars, restaurants, and other points of interest nearby, and presents them in a photo-heavy, magazine-like layout. A carousel at the top of the app highlights recommendations for places both near and far, and you can tap a button to get travel ideas from cities around the world. The main feed showcases places that are popular this week, and you can filter them to find good places for breakfast, coffee, drinks, and other categories.
Keep scrolling and you'll find places recommended by experts, best restaurants in your area, and places popular with tourists. And while Foursquare spun out most of its social features into a separate app, Swarm, the main app can still show you places recommended by people you follow.
Foursquare made a risky bet when it decided to become a local search engine, a la Yelp, rather than a way to see what your friends are doing in the moment. It's unclear how well that is working; Foursquare's App Store reviews are filled with complaints about the loss of check-ins and other social elements. The iPad version, while not particularly bold, at least advances Foursquare's new vision of itself: as a place to lean back, browse photos and reviews, and decide what you'd like to do next.