Tag Archives: apps

Foursquare: Is it really a game changer?

As 2009 ended, like usual, we saw tons of blog posts and speculation about what’s in store for 2010. One common theme (that had even been hinted upon long before the end of the year) was “geo-location based apps” such as Foursquare, and now contender Gowalla.

While I definitely see a huge untapped potential for local businesses to take advantage of. At this point I don’t think Foursquare will be the next Twitter. From my perspective, there are a few growing problems with the tool.

  • Scalability – I think I was one of the first 50 or so users in Ottawa when Foursquare was launched here. I *loved* it! I used the handy web tools to find all my Twitter and Facebook friends and I already knew many of the other users. However, as it grows, the happy community feel is diminishing. Also unless you’re checking in over 200 times a week (which, even as a highly social person, I find that completely ludicrous) you don’t even have a chance at making the top 10 anymore. The competitor in me has lost interest.

    Also, a recent Tech Crunch article claims that appealing to a mass audience means compromising quirky features that appealed to the original geeks who embraced it. Douchebag badge anyone?

  • The annoyance factor – As I mentioned above, Foursquare allows you to import your Twitter followers and add them as friends in Foursquare. So that begs the question, why do so many feel the need to tweet their every Foursquare activity?

    This seems to be creating a counter-Foursquare movement by Twitter users who are fed up with the “spammy” foursquare updates. (With very smart people like Judy Gombita leading the way, see her passionate interview on one of my favourite blogs – MediaStyle)

  • And now what? – The reason tools like Twitter and Facebook have been so successful is the sense of empowerment they provide to users. Facebook allowed us all to re-connect and better stay connected to old friends and past acquaintances. Twitter taught us a new and powerful way to communicate and network in 140 characters or less.

    But Foursquare does what? Enables stalkers to function more efficiently? Yes, it’s really cool when you check in at an event and find other people there as well, but Twitter already does that via hashtags, and has a much larger user-base. Foursquare has a lot of ‘hey that’s really cool’ elements to it, but nothing that is going to set of bells in our heads and make us feel like we couldn’t live without it.

For the record–I am an avid user of Foursquare. It’s fun and I definitely see staying power potential, I just don’t envision it as the next big thing anymore. What do you think?

Favourite Free iPhone Apps

If you don’t own your own iPhone, I’m sure you’ve at least played around with one, right?

Well the greatest thing about the iPhone 3G (and iPhone 2.0 update) is the App store. Which allows developers to create applications–either paid or free–for use on the new or updated iPhones as well as iPod Touches.  I’ve had my phone for just about a month and have had lots of time to try out a lot of the free apps (too scared to pay for any yet, even though I do have an iTunes gift card kicking around!)

So, here are my faves, but in my quest for having all the best apps, I want to hear your recommendations too!

1. Shazaam

My dad has this thing he does when a song he likes comes on the radio. Basically it’s a hand signal that means “Name this song.” He used to give us kids money for getting the right answer, but not so much anymore now that we’re all grown up…

However, at the time, I wish I had my iPhone and Shazaam because this app allows you  to hold your iPhone up to music and it will name the tune. Furthermore it allows you to buy the song directly from iTunes if you wanted to. Even though I probably won’t get paid for it, it’s still a very handy tool to have around, especially when your with someone who says “Oh man, I love this song! Wish I knew who sings it!” Total and absolute awesome.

2. Twinkle

Funny that my last post was all about being unsure about Twinkle, but now I LOVE it. It’s a Twitter client that takes it to another level by using the iPhone’s GPS and recording users’ locations with their posts. A great way to meet other tech savvy people in yoru area and building your local Twitter following. Love it!

3. SudokuFree

Ok, so secretly I’ve always hated sudoku because I suck at it. So I’m not even sure why I chose to download this app. However, glad I did, because now I’m a sudoku master. The trick is when you’re playing and you put the wrong number in the wrong box, it turns red. So whereas if I were playing in the newspaper my page would be a big scribbly mess, on the iPhone it’s always slick clean and I *know* I’m right! Now the challenge is to not get any wrong throughout the puzzle and I’m doing well with it.

4. iPint

My absolute favourite! If you’ve met me in person and we’ve chatted about my iPhone then I’ve probably showed you this. It’s the ultimate ‘party favour’ app because who doesn’t love beer? Basically it displays a pint of beer and when you tip the phone it slowly pours out. It’s realistic and simple, and while it may be a little pointless, it’s still awesome.

Ok, those are my top four. I’ve still many, many too play around with so let me know what you like! Also have you paid for any apps? Was it worth it? I’m considering buying Texas Hold’em but I haven’t yet…