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Foursquare adds NFC support for check-ins

by on13 February 2012

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Exclusively for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Foursquare, the highly-popular geolocation check-in app for smartphones and tablets, received an interesting update over the weekend that now lets Android 4.0 users with NFC-enabled smartphones to share "Lists" and "Venues" they've visited by simply tapping phones. In addition, it is now possible for said users to tap phones together to initiate / accept Foursquare friend requests or tap against an NFC-enabled poster to check-in at local venues.

“The user experience is great," said Holger Luedorf, VP of Mobile and International at Foursquare. "You just hold your phone against the tap [point]. The checkin screen automatically pops up with the right venue. You’re basically shaving very valuable seconds off the check-in process,” he says. “We try to leverage the native experiences and APIs that are available through the platform as those usually drive the best user experience. Moreover, we're trying to leverage this because we feel that pinpointing someone down to a location through an NFC chip definitely has some value.”

Of course, in order to actually utilize this updated functionality you need an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich device that contains a Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip under the hood (yes, we're talking about you, Galaxy Nexus users).

As with many emerging wireless technologies, it usually takes the two biggest competitors in the field to create any permanent disruption in the industry. Near-Field Communication is currently limited to the Galaxy Nexus and a line of upcoming Android 4.0 smartphones and (possibly) tablets. On the other hand, we are confident that Apple's fifth-gen iPhone will embrace NFC and that's the point where we expect widespread competition between apps other than Foursquare will really take off in the NFC space.

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