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Foursquare

In a few days, I'll be returning back to New York after spending three weeks in Southeast Asia. To be more specific, I've spent time in Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. I've had the Lumia Icon with me, which comes unlocked out of the box by Verizon.

I've noticed my usage is a bit different compared to how I use the Icon back in the United States. Here are 7 apps that have become really handy while traveling in Southeast Asia.

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A few weeks ago, Foursquare released their new version of the popular service for Windows Phone with a complete redesign and enhanced location-finding features. The company even followed up with their new look in a blog post detailing the process. Today, their Windows 8.1 version of the app is also getting a makeover, bringing it line with Windows Phone.

Headed to the Store, and you can find version 1.3.0.45 along with a very different look. Gone are the check-ins that have since headed to Swarm, and instead the new Foursquare is very much about finding places around you, including restaurants that just opened, coffee houses and more.

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Earlier this year, Foursquare broke off their popular check-in service with the release of Swarm to all mobile platforms. Focusing on social interaction and planning, Swarm expands upon some of the core features of Foursquare, but it leaves a muddled message.

For a few months now, the company has spoken about a redesigned Foursquare experience, and that looks to be coming closer today, as a private beta has gone out to testers.

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Swarm for Windows Phone is apparently right around the corner. Foursquare today dropped the first images of the app on their blog, noting that it's still "coming soon" — just how soon we're not quite sure. Swarm has been available on iPhone and Android devices for a few weeks now, but thanks to high demand from users, will soon be brought to Windows Phone as well.

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The official Foursquare app for Windows Phone has had a rough week. A featureless update released on June 24 seemed innocuous enough until users on the Lumia 1520 and Lumia Icon had problems launching the refreshed app. The problem seemed limited at first, until a small patch update, version 3.5.8, hit the Store, reportedly fixing the crashes. That 3.5.8 update, nonetheless, is unable to be downloaded by those with a Lumia 1520, revealing an "Item not available" message.

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Last week Foursquare announced Swarm, its new app for checking in. That's right. Foursquare is pulling out the check-in component and building a standalone app around that experience. That app will be called Swarm and will focus on connecting you with your friends. While the Foursquare app that remains will serve to help explorers find new spots. Today Foursquare has shared more details about Swarm, which launches next week.

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Foursquare has announced that they're going to be spinning off a new app this summer called Swarm. While Foursquare has been used for sharing where you are for years, Swarm aims to facilitate meet-ups with friends more easily by letting you broadcast where you're going next and what your friends' plans are. Meanwhile, the original Foursquare app will be changing a little bit to be more focused on venue discovery and reviews.

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