Lots of people accidentally tweet their first few check-ins and badge unlocks when they join Foursquare. They’re on by default, after all. 99.999% of those tweets go unnoticed by the general population, but occasionally one sneaks through that makes you stop and think.
I give to you this Newbie badge unlock tweet from Eddy Cue:
Yes, that Eddy Cue. He’s Apple’s SVP for Internet Software, aka the man tapped by Tim Cook to rescue Apple’s beleaguered Maps app.
Perhaps he’s just decided to give Foursquare a try after it made the App Store Hall of Fame — or maybe he’s testing Foursquare’s venue data as a possible replacement for or supplement to Yelp’s data within the Maps app.
It would make sense. Imagine searches with Maps or Siri run through Foursquare’s Explore algorithms. Instead of just a nearby list of places that kinda sorta match your query, you’d find Foursquare’s spot-on recommendations, personalized for you if you’re a Foursquare user. Location data could be based on Foursquare’s check-in-based data, significantly reducing the chances of getting someone stranded in completely the wrong place due to a misplaced map pin.
Check-ins could be baked right in at the OS level like Facebook or Twitter posts. Even reminders or the calendar could benefit from detailed place data from Foursquare, by giving actual context to that “location” field.
In an instant, Foursquare data would give Apple’s Maps and other apps the smart, personalized touch they’ve lacked all along.
It’s likely Cue’s check-in was just a case of the boss getting familiar with a top app in his store, but I hope it’s a sign of good things to come from Cupertino with regards to getting Maps right.
UPDATE (12/17): The Wall Street Journal has confirmed that Foursquare and Apple are in talks to integrate Foursquare location data into iOS.