Social check-in network Foursquare updated its Android app to encompass Android Beam and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich support.
NFC support on Android products, dubbed the “Android Beam” P2P service, allows devices to exchange data through a small tap/wave gesture over short distances. Foursquare’s upgrade subsequently gives users with Android 4 smartphones the ability to share social discovery information by tapping any two NFC-enabled devices together, and the app embraces NFC tag-reading capabilities for check in’s. NFC is available on Foursquare’s Venue, Lists and Me pages.
“The user experience is great. You just hold your phone against the tap [point]. The check-in screen automatically pops up with the right venue. You’re basically shaving very valuable seconds off the check-in process,” said Foursquare’s Vice President of Mobile International Holger Luedorf during a recent Untether.tv audio interview…
NFC support authorizes a range of sharable content, such as contacts, website and media. The feature is restricted to ICS smartphones with a built-in NFC chip. Therefore, only Galaxy Nexus users can currently experience the full-range of Foursquare’s latest improvement. However, all Android developers can use NFC APIs provided by Android to incorporate noteworthy NFC actions to their apps.
“We try to leverage the native experiences and APIs that are available through the platform as those usually drive the best user experience,” Luedorf explained. “We’re trying to leverage this because we feel that pinpointing someone down to a location through an NFC chip definitely has some value.”
Luedorf also briefly alluded to NFC broadening past the Android operating system to other mobile platform competitors during his audio interview:
“The good news is the technology is already there,” Luedorf contended. “Going forward, some of the other platforms will be NFC-enabled.”