Foursquare has redesigned its apps for Android and iOS to give users an easier way to discover places. The Explore function, which is used to search for or view places, has now been placed front and centre on the app's main page. Previously, Explore's search capabilities were hidden away and needed to be accessed with a couple of taps. The Foursquare logo, which used to be at the top of the screen earlier, has been done away with.

Foursquare has concentrated on combining sections that were previously located in different menus and placing them on the home screen. You now get a single feed that lists check-ins, places and friends nearby, your friends' check-ins and recommendations. The focus this time around is on expanding the capabilities of search and location-based recommendations.

The update also places a text search bar at the top of the home screen. Below the search bar is a map highlighting nearby friends and places; you can tap on the map to expand it. The app now shows Foursquare's top personalised recommendations, along with your friends' check-ins around the world, right on the main page.

Screenshots of the updated app

The new home screen of the Foursquare app

All is not for the better, however. There is a large, prominent check-in button that hovers above the feed, near the bottom, which is kind of distracting and will take getting used to. You can check-in simply by clicking on the button.

The search auto-complete has also received a shot in the arm. As soon as you start typing, it suggests types of places, chosen spots, dishes and other recent searches, minimising the amount of effort you have to put in.

Foursquare 6.0

Search auto-complete and suggestions are pretty accurate

Earlier this month, Foursquare for Android received a minor but vital update that spruced up the way you can search for interesting places in your area. Exploring and discovering new places was made easier as Foursquare’s improved Maps function lets you search for places in only a particular area.

You can now swipe and zoom to redefine a new area for Foursquare to search. All you need to do is move around on the interactive map and hit “Redo search in this area” for the discovery service to show you establishments nearby. You can zoom further and deeper into an area to find stores and restaurants in a particular part of the city or even on a single street.

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