Wednesday, September 29, 2010

v1.2.5 - The Connection Bug Fix and Landscape Login Screen

Just finished publishing the new versions (free and premium) and I can absolutely confirm that users experiencing the "Cannot Connect to Foursquare" will no longer have this issue.  Some other minor bugs were fixed. 

This version adds updated images and a landscape layout for the Login screen.

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A free version of Checkin Assistant? Yup!

I call this an experiment in business models.  Currently both the Free and $0.99 versions are IDENTICAL.  You might say, "That's not smart why would I pay a dollar for something I can get for free?" 

I'm not a published economist so I shall refer you to a collection of articles from people that are experts:

Simply put, if you like the app and want the newest features spend the dollar and you'll get updates sooner and more often.  I'd anticipate releases for the paid version will come every other week but the free version may be monthly or less.

Thanks and happy foursquaring!
Let me know what you think on or here in the comments.


Release Notes for v1.2.3 and v1.2.2

First, the changes to v1.2.3!
This version is a very minor update that ensures the app will not crash if no location providers are enabled. 
As a reminder... Checkin Assistant cannot perform automated check-ins if GPS and Network locations are turned off. 

Next: v1.2.2
This update was relatively minor and contained two quick changes.
A link to this blog was added to the log-in page in version 1.2.1 but on some devices (but not the emulator) the link was displayed directly on top of the log-in button!  As you can imagine that's really frustrating.  That's been fixed.

Second was a message to notify users that they have no active internet connection.  Several users have complained of a "Cannot connect to Foursquare." message and there may be several reasons behind this and I wanted the app to do a better job of explaining why. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The long awaited 1.2.1 is now live!

In addition to all the goodies I was talking about in the previous post there will be a few unannounced features in this release.

New Feature #1:  Facebook and Twitter
     As mentioned yesterday you may now share your check-ins on Twitter and Facebook.  Both of these are disabled by default on any new favorite just like the "Share with Friends" option.  I don't want any stories of spoiled surprise parties being my application's fault.

New Feature #2:  SSL Encryption
     Not much more to say about that.  Foursquare takes privacy seriously and @naveen is my hero so what he says goes.  I'll add OAuth in a future release but this is much more secure than before.

New Feature #3:  High Resolution Images
     The images are now much larger and clearer than before.  Yay!

New Feature #4:  It doesn't have any issues connecting to Foursquare
     Not really a feature but if you'd like to rethink that 1 star rating I'd be a very happy code monkey.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

1.2.1 is now being tested for a release!

There are three changes being made in this release and two of them are user requested.  Please give me one more day to test this release just to be safe!

Change #1: Foursquare API Rewrite (from users)
   Several users have emailed me that Checkin Assistant has issues and a "Cannot connect to Foursquare." message is displayed despite having no connection issues outside the app. 

I said: "That's crazy, I never saw that... oh....[expletive deleted]!"

So I did some homework and found a robust connection system that someone else already built! 

Change #2:  Facebook and Twitter
   This is something I've wanted to add for a while.  I figured if I'm going to do so much testing I should probably throw in the Twitter and Facebook integration. 

Change #3:  The "It never checks me in!" issue (from users)
    Several users have complained that they haven't seen a single check-in done by their Checkin Assistant. This is most likely because the calculation of your location by network triangulation is considered inaccurate by 100 to 400 meters.  This release will relax this restriction from 100 meters to 400 meters. 
If you aren't being checked in often enough, turn on GPS and then disable and enable the Checkin Assistant in settings.  I would rather this app err on the side of caution.

Clarification of issue: "It checked me in too quickly."
    Well I know 2 users that would love to have that problem but one user has emailed me to say that he was checked in 6 times in 20 minutes which exceeds the Foursquare check-in limit of 3 every 15 minutes even though he set the app to check-in once every 20 minutes. 

I might make a change in the future to limit the check-ins to 3 in 15, but I want to keep the fine grain control in the hands of the user.  If you set a Checkin Radius that is too large or your location signal isn't accurate enough this will happen. Look at the "Distance(m)" while you're at that venue and make sure the checkin radius you set won't include your other favorites. 

If you're in doubt and don't want to be checked in automatically... don't set that location as a favorite!

FYI: If you're accidentally checked in you can always delete the check-in on  

Monday, September 6, 2010

So much testing. So many improvements.

Where to begin.  Version 1.1.2 was kind of embarrassing.  I've learned that unless you've thoroughly tested it yourself, then it shouldn't be considered ready for the world to see.

I spent nearly 12 hours of wandering around my hometown of Hoboken, NJ using the Checkin Assistant and have set it up to do about a dozen real world check-ins for me and it is working quite well.  If you're having a problem with it on your device please email

So what has been changed?

  • Added Notifications for all check-ins
  • Added tab to Search for venues
  • Moved Settings to a menu
  • Decrease database usage
  • Improved location handling
Notice the big red star in the notification bar, this indicates a check-in was done for you.  These photos show the result of me searching for a pizza place.  (Yes I'm still working on my Pizzaiolo badge.)