This idea was first suggested to me by a friend, Ciaran Maguire, of GreatNite fame. He suggested I explore the idea that Android devices could have a quick check-in feature that would make it easy for users to check-in, add a comment, tag friends, add photo, and then to share it instantly across multiple chosen networks. I liked the idea, and so got to work.
For speed and ease of use purposes, and because the feature would need to be system integrated anyway (for tagging friends from contacts), it made sense to put it in the pull-down notification area. Android would suggest the nearest or most likely place for you to check-in, based on geo-location and check-in history. However users could tap the “Nearby” button to see other places to check-in.
Once the correct place is tapped, the user is prompted to add a comment, upload a photo, or tag friends. Tapping the “add a comment” text box would bring up the keypad. Tapping the “tag friends” button would open up the user’s contact list within the phone. For this to work correctly the contacts would have to be already be synced with the relative networks. Tapping the add photo button would bring up a dialogue where the user is prompted to take a photo via the camera or to upload an image from the gallery.
The user can then select what social networks they would like to share their check-in on. Icons for each network first appear grey, but turn to colour when the user taps them to enable sharing on that network.
The user then simply taps “Share” and they are brought back to the home screen. The user has checked-in to a place on multiple social networks simultaneously. They have also been given options to add a comment, photo, and tag friends all from the notifications bar.
This makes the task of ‘checking-in’ more efficient whilst still allowing the user to share at their convenience and at their discretion as opposed to having their phone automatically check them in to places.