Android App Brings Real-World Social Networking to Facebook Check-Ins

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Smart Places Android App brings ease of use to Facebook Places with 2-click or automatic check-ins, and facilitates real-world social networking through notifications when friends check in nearby.

Smart Places notifies users when their friends check-in nearby, and shows an intuitive map overview. The red circles represent areas where the user is automatically checked in.

Nearby friends' check-ins and auto check-in zones (red circles)

I was annoyed to only find out about friends’ nearby check-ins many hours, or even days, after they had left a place. Checking-in was more of a statement than a constructive action to facilitate real-world social networking.

After six months of public beta, MDP Mobile is proud to announce the release of its Smart Places Android App (Market), bringing ease of use to Facebook Places with 2-click or automatic check-ins, and facilitating real-world social networking through notifications when friends check in nearby.

Facebook’s Check-in feature was announced in August last year and, according to Social Bakers, Facebook users now check in almost 2 million times daily. The idea for Smart Places was prompted by some apparent limitations in the check-in feature of the official Facebook app for Android.

“I was excited with the rapid adaptation of Facebook’s new check-in service, but I found it prohibitively time-consuming to check in myself using the official Android app”, said Smart Places developer Michael Pedersen. “I was also annoyed to only find out about friends’ nearby check-ins many hours, or even days, after they had left a place. Checking in was more of a statement than a constructive action to facilitate real-world social networking. I wanted to change that and set out to build Smart Places.”

During its public beta period, Smart Places received over 500 user ratings with an average of 4.3/5 stars. The version 1.0 release is the result of extensive development efforts guided by constructive suggestions and requests from users during the beta period.

Other noteworthy features of Smart Places include an intuitive map overview of nearby check-ins; time stats for places which can be appended to check-in messages; multiple location options, including WiFi, GPS and custom plot on the map; and a home screen widget with easy access to the check-in screen.

Smart Places is ad-supported and distributed for free through the Android Market. A paid upgrade key is also available from the Android Market, at the introductory price of $1.49 until July 31. This upgrade removes ads and unlocks premium features. These include automatic check-outs which delete a check-in and/or post a wall message when leaving a place; Priority Places for easy access during manual check-ins; monitoring of time targets for a place to e.g. track the amount of time spent at the gym; a 4x1 home screen widget showing the latest nearby check-in with a profile picture; and advanced check-in and check-out messages built from custom time stats for a place.

The combination of automatic check-ins and notifications provides a powerful automation of Facebook’s check-in service: users can participate with little effort, and need only open the app when there are new, nearby check-ins with the potential to facilitate real-life social networking.

Visit the web site for further information about Smart Places and other apps from MDP Mobile. Smart Places is not affiliated with or endorsed by Facebook.

About the publisher:
Founded in December 2009, MDP Mobile develops high-quality Android apps in the local-social and casual games categories. Based in Cambridge, UK, it is headed by Michael Pedersen, PhD.

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Michael Pedersen
MDP Mobile
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