Remember when foursquare said the release of version 5.0 was positioning them for bigger and better things throughout the summer? They just dropped preview of what some of those things will be with the launch of a developer preview of connected apps.
Up to now, all the apps built on top of the foursquare API have existed outside the walls of the foursquare app. Connected apps brings some of those experiences right to the post-check-in screen of the foursquare app, eliminating the need for SMS or Twitter notifications for simple things.
The Weather Channel can now show you the local forecast when you check in in a new city; Untappd can show you the most popular beer in a bar when you check in; Sonar can notify you when like-minded individuals are checked in with you.
Apps can be connected from foursquare’s app gallery. Your friends will receive a notification in the friends tab when you connect an app, which should help with their ability to spread virally (you can connect directly from these links). Some apps, like Instagram and Untappd are already connected (if you’ve connected your accounts previously), so their notifications will begin showing up immediately.
Foursquare announced 11 launch partners for the developer preview and invited other to join in. The launch partners are:
- Eat This, Not That – From Men’s Health Mag, Eat This, Not That tells you what dishes to order and what to avoid at restaurants when you check in
- Untappd - Shows recommendations from friends and others on which beer to order, and easily check-in to beers from within foursquare
- Sonar – Informs you of your connections to interesting people nearby
- Soundtracking – Share and discover songs your friends have shared at a place
- Snoball – Trigger charity donations when you check in, and tells you about friends’ donations
- Foodspotting – Share and get recommendations on which dishes to order
- GroupMe - Makes it easier to share your check-in with a group of friends on GroupMe
- Blue Legends - Notifies you when you earn extra rewards for checking into Lufthansa venues
- Instagram – Share your Instagram photos on foursquare, which friends can see and tap through to the Instagram app
- Path – Share photos and text from Path, which tap through to the Path app
- The Weather Channel – Get the weather forecast with your first check-in of the day and when you check in to a new city
Many of the apps link to deeper information that can be displayed as a web page without leaving the foursquare app. Others deep link into the relevant content within their own apps.
You can read a detailed technical explanation of how these apps work on the foursquare engineering blog.
This opens up a lot of possibilities for developers to build niche applications that interface with foursquare in an unobtrusive way. The data users will be able to get — right inside the foursquare app — is only limited by the imaginations of developers.
What do you think of the new apps? Which is your favorite?