Foursquare has updated its iOS and Android apps today with a revamped filtering system that allows users to set additional parameters, such as price and number of previous check-ins, for all of their search queries.

In the previous version of the app, tapping the search bar at the top of the screen would trigger a number of different choices, such as location type (shopping, sights, food, etc.) as well as a number of additional options such as ‘Saved’ and ‘Haven’t Been’.

These were particularly useful for finding places that were suitable to your tastes; you might have been taking your girlfriend out for a romantic dinner, but wanted to make sure you reserved a table somewhere neither of you had been before. Likewise, tapping ‘Open Now’ ensured that the five-star bar you traipsed off to afterwards was actually open.

Combining these with search queries, however, was difficult. The updated iOS app now includes a new ‘Filter’ area which can be accessed from the top right-hand corner of the screen at any time. It means that the user can set multiple filters simultaneously; both before and after submitting a search query.

The area is a little boring and unintuitive – it looks remarkably similar to a spreadsheet or online booking form – but means that users can filter results based on whether they have or haven’t been there before, whether their friends have checked-in already, as well as whether their open and offering specials.

4sq1 Foursquare adds location filters to its iOS and Android apps, lets users instantly find the best place to check in

Results can also be sorted by best match or distance, the latter of which is particularly useful if you’re stuck outside in the cold and want to find somewhere suitable pronto.

Setting the parameters within the app is straight-forward, however, requiring a single tap to highlight it with a clear green tick. Tap ‘Done’ at the bottom and you’re away.

These features might sound small, but its impact on finding new and suitable places to go is profound. Foursquare thrives on being a service that is quick and simple to use; if it takes more than a few minutes to make a decision, the likelihood is that user will simply give up and just try the place closest to their current location.

Foursquare gave its iOS app a major facelift in April, placing its search bar front and center and merging it together with the friends tab. The location filters announced today were also added to the Foursquare website earlier this month in advance of a wider rollout on its various mobile apps.

➤ Foursquare | iOS | Android

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