Back in the day, the knock on the Foursquare iPhone app used to be that it wasn’t very visually appealing. That was especially true in comparison to rival Gowalla. But much has changed over the past several months. And now that Foursquare has big funding and a larger team to deal with the pains of fast growth, they’ve been putting a lot of emphasis into how things look and feel. And it’s paying off.
Today brings an update to the iPhone app which is brings a new coat of polish. Most notably, you’ll see that pictures are now displayed inline when you’re viewing your check-in activity stream. This matches the functionality that was recently added to the Foursquare website. It not only ups the visual appeal, it makes the service feel more alive and personal.
This new, more visual experience permeates the entire app. If you land on a venue page and click through to see who is there, if any of your friends are, you’ll see their photos and shouts from that place inline as well.
With the update, Foursquare is also touting overall design tweaks including a cleaned-up header. One thing that will please many users is the addition of bigger tap targets within the app. Previously, you had to focus to click on the tiny comment bubbles to leave a comment. Now you can click on the entire check-in itself to do that.
One thing not yet included in this update: Lists. The new feature that Foursquare rolled out yesterday to their website is still a work in progress on the mobile end. But it’s coming in the next version, they promise. Also, all of these new features are due in the Android and BlackBerry apps shortly.
The iPhone app should be live shortly. When it is, find it here.