Feature Friday: The One Tap Checkin

In commemoration of my first full day with an iPhone6 (today), we are going to talk about a pretty cool feature that just arrived on the iPhone – the one tap checkin.

If you have the swarm app on your iPhone (get it here), you swipe down to get your notifications, and in the Today tab, you go to the bottom and hit edit.

You will see various widgets that you can add to your today notifications. Select Swarm and hold it down to position it (I put it on top). Then save.

Then when you want to check in, you just swipe down to get your notifications and you will see something that looks like this:

Then you can tap the checkin icon and you are checked in.

I just did this and checked into the Kava Cafe. It works like a charm.

As you can see Swarm will also tell you where your nearby friends are in the notifications timeline.

All in all, a super cool feature. I will be using it a lot.


Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    will the iphone start buzzing when you’re within a hundred yards of a nearby friend?p.s. have you ever had a Fear Friday?

    1. JimHirshfield

      Only if it’s your mistress

      1. jason wright

        field test result?

        1. JimHirshfield

          Yes. Very exciting experience.

          1. jason wright

            brings a Terrence Malick film to mind.

    2. fredwilson

      not sure, i will let you know if it does

      1. jason wright

        i genuinely see utility in such a feature, and maybe linked to an apple watch compass needle app. being able to veer away would also have utility. a win-win.

      2. LE

        not sure, i will let you know if it doesI can see the Gotham Gal being really happy if you are having dinner in a restaurant and someone is walking down the street and decides to pop in to say “hi”. Right as the entrees are being dropped off.

        1. jason wright

          restaurants with shielding

    3. Matt Zagaja

      The Facebook app does this, but not for every friend. I am not sure how it decides. It’s interesting to be at an event and then suddenly get an alert that a friend you know is there even though you did not attend together.

      1. jason wright

        thx. yes, that’s an interesting new social dynamic. i might want a cloaking app.

    4. William Mougayar

      I think it will give you a back massage when you need one.

      1. jason wright

        I’m wondering if Jim’s mistress could do that for me. I feel it could be the cheaper option.

  2. JimHirshfield

    It all happens in the notifications. That’s where the cool kids hang out.

    1. fredwilson

      android has been that way for yearsi am so pleased to see that iOS works that way now as well

      1. jason wright

        why would apple have chosen that way, and now changed it?

  3. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    Fred after running swarm app till 6:00 pm today …oops…. I thought it is fun Friday….

  4. JimHirshfield

    “…first full day with an iPhone6 (today)…”Tune in tomorrow for a recap. Will Fred have a good experience or a bad day (iPhone Sick)?

    1. fredwilson

      So far so good

      1. John Revay

        as I launched the avc site…I was thinking that Fred would write about the iPhone6 experiment.There should be a widget or app where AVCers predict or vote on things they think Fred will write about….

        1. bsoist

          great idea!

      2. JimHirshfield

        Please tally dropped calls, missed meetings, auto-correct fail, mis-fired emails, Siri crankiness, geo-fail, (near) drops, acid reflux, etc.

  5. pointsnfigures

    cool. I will try that. I found foursquare to be useful on the trips I just took-a lot better than before. I have been checking in on swarm-but not sure about it’s utility yet.

  6. William Mougayar

    Funny that Fred and I have switched roles for now; he’s an iPhone guy, and I’m now an Android fan boy.So, you’ve got a 1-0 on this one in favor of the iPhone.Why isn’t this available on Android?

    1. JimHirshfield

      Hahahahah.(devs on iphone; iphone dev first)

      1. William Mougayar

        It’s part of a new dev. feature in iOS 8 that enables third-party apps to create actionable widgets. Good move, since widgets have been second-class citizens on iOS.

        1. JimHirshfield


    2. Campbell Macdonald

      Agreed. As well I find swarm’s performance, especially around finding a location flaky at best, often not being able to locate (I run a Nexus 5). Great disappointment because when it works it’s great. Feels like lots of changes to the app in the background.

      1. William Mougayar

        True, but I’m not sure if that’s an Android vs. iPhone thing. I was getting erroneous location detection on the iPhone too, with both Wifi and GPS enabled (they say it’s for higher accuracy).

        1. Campbell Macdonald

          Interesting. I find when I’m out with friends on iOS it feels like it works flawlessly (or at least relatively).

  7. Richard Lee

    Fred, long time reader, so thanks for the great blog. Did you switch to the iPhone? If so, why the change?

    1. fredwilson

      Just want to try something new

      1. JimHirshfield

        Sniffing modeling glue would be something new. Not recommended.

      2. Jeffrey Woo

        just curious, are you using any iPhone only apps that you couldn’t on Android?

        1. fredwilson

          not yet. right now i’m just using the apps i use on Android and getting used to iOS. i will do that once i’m comfortable on iOS.

  8. Justin Fyles

    I’ve also been a new iPhone user for the last 2 days. So far the biggest adjustment has been the way it does notifications (no icons in the top bar, the notifications pane slides down from its bottom and not from its top, sliding notifications on the unlock screen doesn’t dismiss them), which makes it feel like it takes longer to get information. Great to see apps like Swarm recognizing that and using the new iOS functionality to put more information at its users fingertips sooner.

  9. Ed Freyfogle

    cool feature, but looking at the notifications you get, surely 5 miles isn’t very relevant in Manhattan. The system should be smart enough to know that in a dense area like NYC, 5 miles is way too far. Having worked in online real estate search for many years this was one of the key learnings, people’s perception of what is “near” is very different depending on where they are. Out in the country, 5 miles is your next door neighbour. In a major city, traveling 5 miles is like crossing the globe.

    1. JimHirshfield

      +100In related aggravated news: Why do online maps tell you that a place in Long Island is 10 miles away from where you are in Connecticut??? For those geographically challenged, you have to (practically) drive thru Manhattan to get to Long Island…could be an hour’s drive. #idontownaboat

      1. Ed Freyfogle

        I live in Central/East London. When someone invites me to an event in the far west I decline immediately. It’s perhaps 5 miles as a bird flies, but it’s just not worth the stress of trying to get across town. Would take over an hour, and destroys your mood.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Well, traffic is an issue, but no fault of mobile app developers. I actually value the traffic data in Google Maps.

      2. LE

        Why do online maps tell you that a place in Long Island is 10 miles away from where you are in Connecticut???Red headed step child mode. The cool kids are working on self driving cars.

        1. JimHirshfield

          How many people use Google Maps?How many ride in self-driving cars?#youdothemath

          1. LE

            (We need a new way to convey a concept without punctuation that doesn’t begin with a hashish tag. )Anyway there is the google tax math. The “do no evil company” has a very complex overseas structure setup to minimize taxes that the frogs are taking them to task on. Imagine what the lawyers and accountants are pocketing to deal with this one. Page himself is sucking up to the Prime Rib Minister:http://online.wsj.com/artic…We have a hard time believing that some 150 well-paid salespeople with advanced degrees employed by one particular company in France are nothing more than busboys for Ireland,” a French tax official, Alexandre Gardette, said last year, without specifying which company he was talking about.I’ve attached a chart which shows the extent to which they are carrying this out.I think this is great. Shows all the people in la la land (I didn’t call them liberals by the way) that business is business and companies are full of shit if they issues statements (of values or otherwise) that try to portray them any differently.By the way the google child with the reddest head is google voice for sure.

          2. JimHirshfield

            #truth #hashishhashisfunny

  10. Jason Gelman

    I had been a Foursquare power user…tried to continue that with Swarm but something just wasn’t clicking and my check-ins have almost stopped completely. Will give this way a try – removes so much of the friction.

  11. LE

    Maybe they can fork a “stalk” app.

    1. Richard

      “Don’t know where you are going, only know where you have been” Robert Plant, Dazed and Confused, Led Zeppelin I (the greatest startup LP of all time?)

      1. LE

        Getting crazy on the waltzers but it’s the life that I choose Sing about the sixblade sing about the switchback and a torture tattoo And I been riding on a ghost train where the cars they scream and slam And I don’t know where I’ll be tonight but I’d always tell you where I amDire Straits, Tunnel of Love

  12. jason wright

    a battery report would be most welcome.

    1. pointsnfigures

      So far my 6+ has had better battery than my 5

      1. jason wright

        …and not too big?

        1. pointsnfigures

          Like the size so far-but I generally have my phone out sitting down. Last night I was on a panel at 1871 with the NU MBA class (@rohan was there!) and it was a bit uncomfortable at the beginning but I got used to it.

          1. jason wright

            i’ve had to cut out the exact dimensions in stiff cardboard to get a real sense of the size in my hand and pocket. in the stores these handsets are locked down like they’re made of gold and impossible to assess properly. from what i’ve read the great selling point of the Plus is the battery, and the screen ppi.

  13. Matt Zagaja

    Fred, how do you like T-Mobile? After looking at the available features (like WiFi calling) along with the speedtest results in CT it looks kind of tempting to me.

    1. fredwilson

      service is spotty but they are the least anti-customer of the mobile carriers in the US

  14. Emily Merkle

    dig on swarm. not to check in; to sched.

  15. Prokofy

    I’d like one-tap check-in and that might be a persuasion to save for the iPhone6. Currently I have to tap like 6 times to get other check-ins on various things.But…I’m still ambivalent on the whole check-in thing. On the one hand, it helps me keep tabs on certain friends who never use Facebook but love Four-Square (Russians love Four Square).It’s also vital, like Twitter and Instagram and YouTube, for following the war in Ukraine because believe it or not, Russians and Ukrainians are HUGE fans of Four-Square and will check in to even those most dangerous places in the middle of battle. I’m always amazed that some teenager is sending Instagrams of her selfies and some kid is checking in to some hole in the wall cafe on Four Square with his friends even as the missiles fly over Donetsk and Lugansk. But God bless them because they help not only get war pictures but help sustain the belief that life can go on.Still…I don’t keep up with my own check-ins unless I’m at some big event trying to find another friend. If I find a nice restaurant or book store I will, but I think, if I check in to my church, what am I doing, am I trying to brag to my other friend who checks into his church constantly that I am just as spiritual? Should some things simply left out of check-in land, like hospital visits?But if I hadn’t seen my friend check into hospitals in the middle of the night I wouldn’t know his baby was sick.This is always vexing to parse….Checking-in, like tweets, is becoming a vital tool, not just a “nice to have” accessory or gadget.