Over the past year, Foursquare has slowly transitioned away from badges to focusing more on location discovery and recommendations. Until now, this shift was predominately limited to desktop, but today the company is rolling out a consistent experience across both platforms with the launch of Foursquare 6.0 for iOS.

In the updated app, Foursquare’s location search feature Explore is now front and center. Previously this used to be hidden in its own separate tab at the bottom of the screen. Now at the top center of the screen — completely taking over the space reserved for Foursquare’s logo — this pushes the check-in button to the bottom of the screen.

Rearranging the main screen is an important example of how the company’s priorities have shifted from check-in game to a resource for local businesses. Now when a consumer launches the app, he or she is greeted by personalized recommendations based on the current time and location — all before the check-in button is reached.

And in an effort to further foster discovery, the activity feed is now populated by more than just friends’ activity. Much like its Android counterpart — which received a similar update in March — the activity feed on iOS now displays trending locations, recommendations, and other information based on nearby members.

Once the company’s bread and butter, collecting points and badges aren’t enough for Foursquare as it tries to go after a new set of consumers. Individuals who have relied on Yelp and Google for information about venues demand efficiency. Past versions of Foursquare apps, which relied heavily on check-ins, wasn’t cutting it.

While this update won’t have an immediate impact on local businesses, it’s still a critical one. If Foursquare can prove that it’s consistently delivering foot traffic, it could convince some businesses to invest in Foursquare’s paid products, like Promoted Updates.

[Via: VentureBeat, Image credit: Praveen]