While already one of the much buzzed about mobile apps, Foursquare recently launched an upgraded version for Android. Foursquare, a location-based service that lets users "check-in" to restaurants and bars, has sought to make its revamped app more interactive.
The app now includes a new Explore tab, which provides recommendations for your next night out. Users enter key words for what they're looking for ("gluten free" or "places with fireplaces," for example) and Foursquare will make suggestions based on a blend of what's popular with your friends and other users, places with great tips and locations you've visited in the past.
Foursquare has also expanded its Specials feature, letting merchants reward loyal customers and offer perks for checking-in. Businesses can now offer discounts and/or freebies to groups of friends, new customers and regulars.
Rewards offered through Foursquare's Specials near TheStreet's office included 10% off bottles of wine, free apple pie and spa discounts.
Kik Messenger, the creator of a free smartphone messaging service, recently announced an update to its Android app that includes group chat. Kik now allows group chatting for up to 10 people, as well as picture sharing.
Once you download Kik, it scans your address book and recommends contacts for you. Similar to instant messaging, the app lets you see when the person you're chatting with is typing, and lets you know when they've read your message. You can communicate with people across different mobile platforms, as well.
Kik joins a number of other players the group chat space, including WhatsApp, Beluga and PingChat, as well as Research In Motion (Stock Quote: RIMM), which sued Kik last year for patent infringement of its BlackBerry Messenger client.
Kik recently received an $8 million Series A funding round and announced that prominent venture capitalist Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures would be joining its board.
Socialcam, a new mobile video app for Android, allows users to record and share videos with friends. When you launch the app for the first time, you log into Facebook and it shows your friends that are also using Socialcam. Video is shot within the the app itself, and it begins loading instantly as you pick out a title and tag friends. You can then choose to share the video through Facebook, Twitter, e-mail or text message.
We were impressed with Socialcam's speed and ease-of-use, making videos as simple to upload and share as photos are. After recording a video and sending it to our Facebook wall, it was posted immediately.
Socialcam also offers unlimited video length and storage, as well as the ability to record video offline and upload later when you have Internet.