For friends who live nearby, I don’t necessarily need to be notified that they’ve checked in across town. I can see them anytime, so it’s unlikely I’ll drive very far to see them. If they check in right around the corner, though, I might be willing to trek over and hunt them down. Conversely, when a friend from across the country is in town for a few days, I want to know, because I’m probably willing to head across town to see them.
That’s the premise behind Squaredar, an app from foursquare platform evangelist Akshay Patil. With the release of connected apps, Patil has resurrected Squaredar (originally an internal hack day project) to alert you when you check in near someone who’s much closer than normal.
Squaredar works by tracking the average distance between you and each of your friends. When that distance is 100 times closer than the average, you’ll get a notification on the post check-in screen. To keep from spamming you, Squaredar makes sure you’re not checking in together (no need to notify you about that) and that it hasn’t recently notified you about the same person.
Using that logic, Squaredar is perfect for notifying you when local friends are extremely close or when out of town friends are in town. Unless I’m specifically looking to connect with a friend, those are the two most important use cases for finding my friends via foursquare.
What do you think of the app?
PS Over the weekend, Patil hacked together another app: Thanks for Coming in Today. It’s a fun app that tracks what time you normally get to the office, then thanks you on those days you go the extra mile and make it to work early. If your boss doesn’t notice, at least someone will!
PPS The open source code for both projects is available on Github.