Walk around Barriosquare Foursquare application for the Nokia N900
A couple of days ago I mentioned that I was part of the beta test group for Barriosquare on the Nokia N900. Barriosquare is a Foursquare application that will hopefully soon find itself in the Maemo repositories and Ovi Store for the N900. I am very impressed with how fast the developer, Chris Burris, rolls out updates and at this time I have version 0.1.23 loaded on my device. It has actually been quite fun to mess around with X Terminal and figure out some commands and geeky aspects of the N900. As you can see in the screenshots below, Barriosquare is actually quite a good looking and functional application that easily beats many of the apps we already see in the Maemo repositories.
What the heck is Foursquare?
For those of you unfamiliar with Foursquare, I recommend you check out the Learn More page. Foursquare is a social networking service that is both a game and an information tool with ties into Twitter and Facebook. You “check in” to various locations and then can have your location sent to Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook friends. You can add “shouts” when you check in to add a statement along with your check in. It is an easy way to see who else in your friend list is in the area and even cooler you can leave and find tips that are location based and live in the cloud as virtual tags. I have found this most helpful at restaurants where people have left tips on what is good to eat or what you should avoid ordering. There is some huge potential here for expanding this tips capability and even having venues give you coupons if you login or other incentives to play the game.
To further the game aspects of the service, you can earn different badges for checking into various locations a certain number of times, throughout different times of the day, and multiple times. Some of the badges are just plain silly, but I have to admit it is kind of fun. If you check in enough at a certain location you will earn the title of Mayor and at this time I am mayor of 10 locations. You can actually earn free coffee, ice cream, hotel stays and more by being the mayor of certain locations so get out there and check in with your N900 and GPS. The stats page is quite interesting to view as well.
Quick look at Barriosquare
I won’t go into all the details of Barriosquare since it is still actively being developed, but Chris told me it was OK to post some screenshots and thoughts. I find the user interface of Barriosquare to be quite good and easily rivals the native Foursquare apps we see on the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Google Android platforms. As you can see in the screenshots, Chris uses Google Maps to show locations on maps. You can tap icons to view your information, your check-in history, your friends history, established venues in your geographic location, and ability to search for venues. This latest version just added the ability to add venues right in Barriosquare so that you can then check-in to new locations. The application is pretty straightforward while looking good.
When you select a venue you will see a Google Maps view, address and phone number (if entered), along with the mayor of that venue. On the right are options to check-in, view any tips, check out links, and see who else is at that venue. I have yet to see anyone in the who is here page so am not sure this is enabled yet.
There are currently 66 members of the Barriosquare Google group so hopefully the application is getting tested out so it can be improved and tested thoroughly. If you have a N900 and are interested, then please do apply for membership to test it out.