Foursquare Update Brings ‘Some Early-Access Love’ to Android

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Foursquare continues to roll out new tweaks to improve its interface, making this latest addition—a new notification system that “goes beyond the check-in”—available to Android and web users first. The service is available today.

Which is, weirdly, a bit contrary to the New York-based company’s typical behavior; in the past it’s granted iPhone users first dibs on new features dating back to its launch in 2009.

“Android needs some early-access love!” Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley tells TechCrunch. “We worked hard as a company to make it so different products are paced differently on different clients — so it’s not always iPhone, Android, then BlackBerry.”

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The new notification tray tracks your friends’ activity outside of checking-in. It works similarly to the way Facebook alerts you to other peoples’ activity that you’ve interacted with, elevating the immediacy and usability of Foursquare’s other functionality.

Here’s the breakdown of what types of things you’ll be notified for, per the Foursquare Blog:

· a friend comments on one of your check-ins;
· there are new comments or photos on a check-in you’ve commented on;
· your friend does one of the Tips you’ve left;
· you and a friend both have the same place on your To-Do List;
· a place you’re at starts swarming;
· one of your Facebook friends joins foursquare; and,
· you’re ousted as Mayor (boo!).

Before users were only notified of their friends’ check-ins, making this new system a nice additive in terms of consolidating information into one place.

Users can flip these notifications on or off as they please so as not to be inundated with alerts. There’s even a temporary “mute” feature if you just want a quiet Friday night at home while all your friends are out on the town.

Android users can update the app here, or you can go straight to the Foursquare website to take try out the Web version.

MORE: Study Reveals Most Users Aren’t “Checking-In”

Chris Gayomali is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @chrigz. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.