Announcing Foursquare for Layar app

Image representing Foursquare as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Today Dennis Crowley from Foursquare gave an excellent presentation at  Mobile Monday, Amsterdam edition (#momoams on Twitter).

If you were there, you now know everything about the city as playground ( and personal metrics.

I’m very grateful and proud that he took the opportunity to announce my Foursquare application for Layar, which allows you to use the most popular features of Foursquare from Layar.

What it is

Foursquare is a very popular social network game which integrates virtual social networks with the real world. Friends meet friends in cafes and bars and let each other know where they hang out. If you haven’t yet, it is definitely worth to check it out.

The Foursquare Layar app gives you access to the most frequently used features of the network.

  • Show venues around you, including which people are frequenting them, who is the mayor and user tips what to do.
  • Find nearby tips what to do and see at a glance what makes a location special.
  • Check in to a venue and let your friends know that you hang out there.
Encoded uri: layar://foursquare

Open Layer with foursquare

A basic version of these views is accessible even when you’re not signed in to Foursquare, which gives you an excellent opportunity to look around before jumping in and signing up (I’m quiet sure you will eventually plunge in and sign up to connect with your friends)!

These views are greatly enhanced when you’re signed-in. Then all venues where you or your friends have checked in are prioritized and highlighted. Tips from friends stand out. And you’re able to view what users have on their profile, which “badges” they earned and so on.

Give it a spin: open the Foursquare Layer on your mobile device.

Short FAQ

A few words about the options illustrated with screenshots.


Filter Options

Select your list from the filters menu (presented at application launch or from the menu). For now Venues and Tips are available. The range slider lets you adjust the distance within results are looked up and displayed, up to a maximum of 50 items.

Venue list

Venues in Reality View

Venues in Reality View

Venues are shown in the Reality View as an overlay over your current surrounding (as seen through the mobile device’s camera). Different icons are applied depending on wheter you or your friends have signed in at a venue, or if the venue is considered a favorite.

Alternative views are map view and list view (see below).


Tips presented on the map view

Tips presented on the map view

Just like venues, Tips are looked up such that friends and popular venues are prioritized. With each tip the user is shown who contributed the tip. This enables you at the same time to get some more info about this user.

User view

Mobile view of user dashoard

Mobile view of user dashoard

Quickly shows user info, e.g. at which venues they are mayor, what badges they earned and such. Links to venues are clickable and take you to the venue with all Foursquare related data. You need to be logged in to see user data.

Venue view

Detail view of Venue

Detail view of Venue

The baseic venue information, including address, phone and Twitter link if available. The big blue checking button lets you quickly check in at the venue (provided you are logged in of course). User tips and the mayor are shown, their avatars link to the user detail page.

Login / connect

Connect / login screen

Connect / login screen

You will be taken to a friendly “connect” dialog ss soon as you access an action for which you need to be signed in. Then you are securely connected to the Foursquare service, the same way as modern Twitter applications do. This means that you can break the connection from either side, the Layar app or Foursquare, whichever you happen to be at. For geeks: this is called OAuth and the current best practice standard way to connect social applications.

Beta version

The current implementation is to be considered an early beta version. The feature list above is not complete yet.
Emphasis has been put on those services which revolve around your current location. In other words, they present the view of your social network with your location at the center. This means that searches are done by proximity rather than name or some other property.

Also, some quirks between the Layar app and the Foursquare API are likely to pop up from time to time.
These will be fixed and smoothed out during the coming months. Then a new version of the Layar app is in the works, which will provide a much nicer integration at the User Interaction level.

I’m really excited to have this basic version up and running and I’m looking forward to your comments. Please share them in the feedback box below, or drop me a line.

Update 2009-11-20: the Foursquare layer was mentioned on the Layar website today, nice!

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