Earlier this month, Foursquare announced that it would no longer be about just customers and businesses anymore as their new app aptly labeled Swarm for iOS and Android will bring new features and functionality into the mix, letting you and your friends easily share common places you visit, discover events, find new places to check in as well as find if you’re both in the same neighborhood. The app is now available on the Google Play and iTunes App Store, and just like Foursquare, it’s free to use on both platforms. The app shares various similarities with Foursquare itself, for instance you can check in to places just as you already do, but the app also uses passive location information in order to show you whether your friends are nearby even when they haven’t checked in.
When launched, Swarm can let you in either with your existing Foursquare account or by using Facebook or email credentials. However, it keeps your Foursquare and Swarm friends list independent from each other. Once logged in, it walks you through a few instructional screens to get you acquainted with how it works.
Swarm’s interface is clean and user-friendly, with a snappy layout and bright orange color. The main screen of the app carries four tabs at the top. And you can navigate among these tabs either by tapping on their icons, or by swiping left or right. There’s also a ‘neighborhood sharing’ toggle at top left of every screen that can be swiped right to enable and disable location sharing on the fly.
Swarm has a Facebook-like feeds section that gives you updates about your friends, and show events and short posts from your them etc. You can access your contacts’ profiles and make plans together. Speaking of plans, you can make new plans with friends that are in your vicinity. There’s a social map that shows friends who might be nearby, and if possible, what they’re doing. The plans can be made right away. For instance, you can simply type a query like ‘Who’s up for dinner tonight?” and Swarm will send push notifications to your friends.
Besides creating plans, Swarm also enables you to share your neighborhood so your friends can easily know your whereabouts. The app uses location services to accurately find your location on the map akin to the Foursquare app. Swarm also has built in notification system to give you alerts for let’s say, a friend’s checks in, accepts your invitation to join the service or friend request etc.
You can download Swarm on Android and iOS for free via the links provided below.