The Mobile Check-in Battle: Foursquare vs. Highlight vs. Glancee

Foursquare has been a favorite of ours in terms of mobile check-in applications for years now. However, even though it is the most popular, it doesn’t mean that it is the best. There are many other location based applications that are just as great, if not better. Today, we will pit two other location-based apps (Highlight and Glancee) against Foursquare and see how they perform against each other.

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Since the introduction of Foursquare, many new location-based check-in applications start to sprout up. These applications help you not only to connect with friends and show your locations, but also allow you to get rewards for doing so. In the case with Foursquare, each check-in gives you a couple of points or a badge depending on if your friends have visited that location or if an event has occurred. Additionally, several companies and businesses have partnered with Foursquare to provide deals and coupons for check-ins.

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Foursquare has many great features that allow for an enjoyable experience. The first feature that Foursquare has excelled in was with the great deals that Foursquare has to offer. Some of these deals include everything from free offers to a certain percentage discount. In addition, Foursquare now has an offer with small businesses and American Express, where when you check-in to local businesses, you get a percentage back from your order. All in an effort to make you come back and check in again. In addition to deals, you have a great community on Foursquare. The possibilities to share your check-ins on social networking websites allow for an easier way of organizing hangouts with friends.

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There are a couple of things that aren’t good for Foursquare. For example, checking into a location isn’t as swift as I would like. For example, to check into a location from start-up, you must first search the location. Most of the time, the place you are at will appear automatically. Other times, it can take a while to find the place. Next, you must physically click the check-in button and choose to add any messages or sharing toggle. This isn’t as streamline as I would like. Additionally, when looking for somewhere related to food or other locations, sometimes the wrong locations get included. Once, a recreation center got included with a related listing for a shopping mall.  This can kind of get annoying when you want a quick search or suggestion.

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One thing I enjoy with Highlight is how personal it is, making it perfect for meeting new people that you probably wouldn’t have without the app. Highlight is the perfect application to make large, impersonal parties more enjoyable and actually a great venue for what they are meant to be, places to meet people who may (or may not) have your common interests. You get an alert if you have a friend you connected with that is near you, perfect for impromptu meetups at a local coffee shop nearby or just a small hello.

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Some of the best things about Highlight can also be the worst things about the application. First, Highlight doesn’t seems to take much consideration about your privacy. When you meet that cool person from that music event at SXSW, you may not always want to connect with them a couple of months later when back in Austin, TX. It seems to be great for one hit interactions, but not everyone wants to continue on with these interactions. It’s important to make sure to friend and make connections only with those you want to continue the interaction with. In addition, the continued GPS needed to run the app is deadly to a battery. Lastly, you must have a Facebook account to use Highlight. While (almost) everyone has a Facebook these days, not everyone wants to connect both (even if things won’t be shared without your consent, it’s just the paranoia).

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Glancee is one of the best ways to meet new people. However, one way that Glancee does this is by matching your current location with individuals who not only have common interests, but also individuals who share common friends with you. Glancee becomes the best conversation starter. Your profile can show what you enjoy and the person next to you can also enjoy the same cuisine and music. You don’t have to awkwardly start the conversation with your similarities, Glancee allows you to begin the conversation with a message over Glancee’s messaging tool.

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Just like with Highlight, Glancee seems to be a little too personal for me. The ability for any user to see my interests and messages me seems a little bit daunting to consider. However, we should remember that we have the ability to choose what we do and don’t want to share on Glancee. Frankly, if you are seriously concerned about your privacy, then Glancee is not the application for you. Additionally, to make the best out of the application, you must keep it running continuously, which can drain your battery pretty fast. For those with a tiered data plan, that should be something to think about as well.

Each application has its own feel that makes it perfect for some users, but not exactly for other users. If you are looking for an application that you can get more out of without feeling like you are compromising privacy, then Foursquare is your choice. If you feel that you want an application you can make new friends and connections (or even forging old ones), then Highlight and Glancee is for you. When comparing Highlight and Glancee, Highlight is the best application for parties and gatherings, Glancee is perfect for discovering old and new connections when out on the town or at a coffee shop or airport.

What other location check-in app do you use?

Foursquare, Highlight, Glancee