4th & Mayor v2 is now released

Posted 28 June 2011  

I’m enjoying a small summer vacation down in Florida and have had a few quiet evenings to finally roll out some majorly awesome updates to 4th & Mayor. This addresses a ton of feedback I’ve gotten from people over the last several months of app use, and aligns with the latest version of the foursquare app for other key platforms. The app update was approved this afternoon and should now be finding its way onto your phone if you’re an existing user!

Quick to check-in, you can add venues, enjoy social features even better, and packed with UX improvements, this is good stuff.

Thanks to everyone for your feedback on the app – I’ve even had an NFL quarterback Tweet about his love for the app recently!

Aligns with Foursquare 3.2

Last week, Foursquare updated their iPhone app with a great new version, and this major new release of 4th & Mayor, v2, includes several of those changes, as well as other improvements that have been needed for some time. You can read about those new versions here.

Did you know that Foursquare now has over 10 million users? Good for them!

Some changes you will now see with the release of my 2nd major version of 4th and Mayor:

  • The ‘places’ are gone from the main page – there’s a new check-in experience now, just touch the “check-in” button at the bottom of the main page to open up the list of nearby places (it’s fast!)
  • This retires the dedicated ‘Shout’ button – Foursquare’s decided that going forward it makes more sense to only attach shouts to check-ins, so that’s where it is
  • Trending places near you have moved away from the check-in experience and into the ‘explore’ feature
  • Explore adds the new Outdoors category
  • Explore now holds both nearby specials as well as the trending places nearby, instead of those polluting the nearby places list

Faster, more responsive

Big performance improvements; the instant you touch the display, there will be a reaction; no longer is the delay that many people were seeing with the original series of the app.

Super quick way to check-in

It is now faster than ever to check-in to a place.

  • Start 4th & Mayor
  • As soon as it appears, touch the ‘Check-in’ button in the application bar – even before your friends’ list loads!
  • Select a place to sign in
  • Quick sign-in, or do a more complete sign-in

The nearby places list now shows a lot more places than before, loads quickly, and it will update as you walk around – the location should be more accurate now. Also, there’s an “add venue” button, “search”, and refresh, all at the top.

To check-in to a temporary place (“venueless”) without adding it to the 4sq database,

  • Search for a place
  • Move to the bottom of any search results
  • Select the ‘check-in here anyway’ choice, without adding to the foursquare database

Note that ‘Quick Sign-In’ now respects your preferences for notifying Twitter and/or Facebook about your check-in’s – this is a new change from the v1 series.

Add photos to your check-ins finally

Check-in photos (as many as you want) can be added to your own check-in’s. Note that your friends can see these, and when they go to the same place and look at “photos”, they’ll see any check-in photos you may have posted there.

Cool!

Also, v2.1 (in progress) adds a more robust photo-upload feature, so it will get even better very soon.

A more enjoyable experience with your friends

More care was given to add more fun social features.

  • You can add friends right from the main page of the app now, it is no longer hidden away
  • Check out 7-day rolling progress on points in any profile – including their high points, current points and so on.
  • Explore the leaderboard
  • Check out the top places your friends have gone in the past 6 months
  • Check out the categories that your friends enjoy checking in to

Add Venues and enjoy venueless check-ins

You can now add new venues to Foursquare! Just use the “Add” button at the top of the “nearby places” page, or search for a place, and when you don’t find it, add it! You can also check-in to places without adding them to the foursquare database (such as, “Chris and Katherine’s Wedding”).

Other changes of interest

  • You can now add a venue itself as a “to-do”
  • You can see any to-do’s you have at a place, noted on the first page – touch for a detailed listing of to-do’s
  • If you’ve been having issue getting Facebook to reflect your Foursquare check-in’s, please unlink and re-link your account at http://www.foursquare.com/
  • As always, you cannot become a mayor unless you have a profile photo setup with your account; do this online. A new handy note is included if you’re 1 day away from a mayorship, to make sure you’re aware of the need for a profile pic.
  • The ordering of information about a check-in is better and aligns with the iPhone: you’ll see points before favorite tips, for instance.
  • Days away from mayorship only appear when you’re within 10
  • Location is much more accurate now when displayed anywhere in the user interface
  • Many user experience changes – pivot items often now move out into dedicated, faster-loading pages
  • Robust options for when data fails to load, often providing a ‘retry’ option when the network drops
  • If you keep the app open while walking down the street, it’ll refresh occasionally with nearby spots, instead of you having to keep hitting ‘Refresh’
  • Profile pages now show a check-in count
  • Contact information for people moves into a ‘social’ sub-item
  • Cleaned up venue issue reporting interface
  • User interface glitches fixes
  • Fixes a crash when immediately touching “quick check-in” before a venue loads
  • Maps appear worldwide now for many users
  • Detailed map experience is now available for looking around an area
  • Better error messages when the data connection drops out
  • Many, many crashes corrected – thanks for the reports!

Get the update today!

Updates should roll out onto the Windows Phone Marketplace sometime today, 6/28, and it will be a nice, quick, seamless transition. Let me know if you run into any problems – @jeffwilcox or @4thandmayor on Twitter.


On the Windows Phone Marketplace

There’s also an incremental update, v2.1, that addresses a few small visual glitches and improves photo upload robustness, I hope that’ll turn around quickly. Thanks for using my app!

Jeff Wilcox is a Principal Software Engineer at Microsoft on the Azure team.

Jeff holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.

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