I have mixed feelings about check-in apps like Foursquare and Facebook Places. I some time like the idea of checking in at a location and sharing it with my social network as a way of sharing what I am doing. On the other hand, I don’t always remember to check-in and the process can be cumbersome. Smart Places is an Android app that significantly improves the check-in process of Facebook Places.
In my experience, one of the problems is that Foursquare, Facebook, and Google don’t accurately find me unless I have the GPS running. Smart Places remembers where you have checked-in previously (Smart Places calls this Priority Places) and shows those locations at the top of the list of places, which means you don’t have to scroll through a long list of places to find a place you frequently visit.
Smart Places will even automatically check you in to a designated location. You create an auto zone by tapping and holding a location on the map, and specifying the place you want to check-in to when you enter that zone after a period of time. Smart Places also has the ability to check you out of a location when you leave it, which means that it removes the check-in from your Facebook wall.
Another way that Smart Places improves Facebook Places is by notifying you when someone else checks-in near your location. You specify the radius, which by default is 5 miles, around your current location for which you will receive a notification when someone checks-in. Notifications can be sound, vibrate, or LED flash.
Priority Places and automatic check-outs are features only available to those who pay for the premium application key that costs about $1.58. Smart Places is otherwise ad-supported and available for free in the Android Market.