Recently we told you about Blindsquare, an app that takes the data collected from the vanity of Foursquare users and combines it with other information to make a useful app for the blind. Well, apparently Foursquare really wants to be useful…or at least become your own personal Zagat guide. The app’s gotten a major overhaul, and now it’s actually worth using for more than just badges and bragging rights.
The key feature of the new app, and what turns it into something worth using, is that it collects your friends’ recommendations and opinions into one easily accessible tap on a map. So, if you’re near a restaurant you haven’t tried, you can pop open Foursquare and get their opinions. It’s surprisingly useful, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar neighborhood, and it means you can dodge online “consumer opinion” hellholes where the reviews are all written by the owner’s mom. I took it to a neighborhood of Boston I rarely frequent and found detailed, interesting recommendation of where to eat and what to do.
It will also, of course, tell you where your friends are at any given time, in its Big Brothery way, and the badges and check-ins and the like are still there. But with this, Foursquare’s gone from an annoyance to a useful way to collect the opinions of the people who matter to you on where to get lunch. In other words, finally, some use has come out of all those Facebook statuses.