There’s no denying that Windows Phone 7 (or Windows Phone 7 Series, or whatever awful branding was chosen) looks to be a huge improvement from the previous iterations of Windows Mobile. And there’s even some talk that it may be able to compete with the current golden boy of the smartphone industry, Apple’s iPhone. If an early look at the new Foursquare app for Windows Phone 7 is any indication, it just may.
As shown off by Windows Phone Senior Product Manager Anand Iyer on his blog this morning, Foursquare for Windows Phone 7 looks amazing. In fact, it looks much nicer than the recently-revamped version of Foursquare for the iPhone. As you can see in the screenshots, the app has a simple elegance to it, with most of the app being made of different color text against a black background (just about the opposite of Foursquare for the iPhone). Also nice is the maps (Bing, naturally) implementation on the check-in pages, venue pages, and individuals’ profiles.
The Windows Phone 7 version also has two killer features that the iPhone version of Foursquare does not: directions within the app, and a new “Society” area. The directions element is great — it seems like daily I’m looking at a Foursquare venue on a map in the app that I’m trying to get to, but would love access to step-by-step directions. To get that on the iPhone, I have to exit the app and open the Maps app. On Windows Phone 7, it’s all integrated into the app.
The new Society area, meanwhile, uses Foursquare’s firehose of data to show the hottest areas in a given city. It does this by showing you a heat map indicating where the most check-ins are taking place. You can then see pins showing the different venues in that area. And below that is a list of the venues and tallies for how many people are checking-in there.
Obviously, this is just one app, and we’re still a long ways away from Windows Phone 7 launching (next Fall). But consider that Android has been out for a year and a half now, and there are still no Twitter apps for the platform that can touch the top five or so iPhone Twitter apps (though Seesmic is finally getting close). If the first attempt at Foursquare for Windows Phone 7 trumps the iPhone version, that would seem to be a good sign. Of course, it must be noted that third-party developers make the Twitter iPhone apps, and have also made this Foursquare app for WP7 — meanwhile, it was Foursquare that made its own iPhone app. That said, there are others making Foursquare apps for the iPhone now, but none come close to being as nice as the WP7 one shown here.
Foursquare is a geographical location based social network that incorporates gaming elements. Users share their location with friends by “checking in” via a smartphone app or by text message. Points are awarded for checking in at various venues. Users can connect their Foursquare accounts to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can update when a check in is registered. By checking in a certain number of times, or in different locations, users can collect virtual badges. In addition, users...