Little by little with each update we saw Foursquare slowly evolving into a venue discovery service and putting less focus on check-ins, which was the core feature when it first launched in 2009. Today, it looks like Foursquare has completed that transition with version 6.0 of its iPhone and Android app.
Not too long ago with Foursquare 5.0 the app moved the check-in button to the top right and revamp the Explore tab to be more functional. However, the Explore tab was never front-and-center… until today. The new Foursquare app has a totally new user interface that places an “Explore nearby” search bar at the top, omitting the logo entirely. Underneath that is a map of people and places near you followed by a small section with what’s happening near you, e.g. close check-ins, trends, new venues, and recommendations.
Those of you who are a fan of seeing your friends’ check-ins, they’re still far from gone. That Happening near you section is small enough so that friend activity still fits perfectly fine on your phone, and you can scroll through all of them as usual. The check-in button has moved back down to the bottom and center, but it’s the only button down there now so you can’t miss it.
To the left and right of the new Explore search bar at the top is a menu button and a notifications button. The menu button will bring up a list other areas of the app similar to Facebook and Path. There’s Home, Profile & History, To-Do List, and All Lists. At the bottom is also Find Friends and Settings.
Not only is Explore now center stage, but it’s also been improved quite a bit behind the scenes. As soon as you tap the search bar you’ll get a list of venue categories, but when you type the first letters, results already start appearing for a query. Typing “bu” for instance brings up Burger Joint, Burrito Place, and Butcher. Foursquare will try to recommend the best places for you based on check-in information — which now exceeds 3.5 billion check-ins, ratings, and tips from other Foursquare users.