After months of running a beta to a handful of users, the newer, “smarter” Foursquare is now available to the masses. Foursquare 7.0, released today, will bring passive location push notifications to all of its users, recommending locations nearby, according to TechCrunch.
The new version of the app, available for iOS and Android, comes along with a sleek redesign and small performance boosts. According to the company, the new alerts are designed to create the right balance between performance and battery life, as recommendations are useless if they constantly drain the phone of power. Interestingly, Foursquare 7.0 does not use any background app features — notorious iPhone battery-killers that, in providing up-to-the-minute changes in information, ultimately end up draining the battery even when the app is not in use.
It’s clear that Foursquare is making an earnest effort to make unobtrusive, sustainable, and informative passive location alert technology, but that’s a tall order. A large portion of what makes passive alerts useless is that for many users, it’s just not feasible to expect a phone to constantly fetch data. The sheer limitation on technology might be to Foursquare’s ultimate detriment, as it has plenty riding on this deal (including $41 million in debt financing), but executing a great passive location app will solve the service’s great problem: being essential to its users.