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Foursquare's new iOS app Swarm makes it easier to meet & make plans with nearby friends

As part of its massive reinvention, Foursquare on Thursday launched a new application called Swarm, allowing users to find nearby friends, share their current location, and collaborate to make plans, while a revamp of the company's flagship software is still forthcoming.

The new Swarm app for iOS exists alongside the established Foursquare application, with each focusing on different features for users. Swarm represents the social connectivity component, allowing users to see where their friends are currently, and what they might be up to later.

While location is the focus of Swarm, a forthcoming revamp of the Foursquare application will make it closer to Yelp, allowing users to discover nearby locations and businesses that may be of interest. The new Foursquare app is scheduled to launch this summer.

That means all of the social aspects previously found in Foursquare will now move to Swarm, which will allow users to check in to locations and see others' statuses. As part of this transition, Foursquare contacts are ported to the new Swarm app.

Swarm goes beyond the functionality previously offered by Foursquare, though. The main screen provides users with a list of how close by their friends are, sorted by distance starting with people who are as close as 500 feet away.

Another new feature is Neighborhood Sharing, which provides a regular update of what neighborhood a person is currently located in. Specific locations aren't shared unless a user actively checks in.

Swarm also allows users to make future plans known to friends, allowing people to collaborate and find things to do together.

Version 1.0 of Swarm is a free 17.3-megabyte download available in Apple's iOS App Store. It requires iOS 7.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.