Introducing Dark Mode! And More with the Release of Untappd 4.0
After over 1B check-ins all-time, 2M beers uploaded, and 9M users registered, we're ready to rollout our first major release in over four years.
Specifically, for the last two years Untappd's Executive VP of Product Kyle Roderick has helmed a team dedicated to improving the app's experience. Buoyed by thousands of beta testers and Untappd Moderators in the community that assessed and sent feedback, Untappd 4.0 is already available and Untappd version 4.0.4 is set to be released to the public early next week.
"It's been two years coming. It's been a really long journey. But there has been a lot of incredible work by the team and a lot of helpful feedback in the last couple of months," says Roderick.
We're excited to get this version into the hands of the Untappd community and badge chasers across the world and look forward to continuing to build and improve the app more often on this newest platform.
Introducing Dark Mode!
One of the biggest changes you'll likely notice is Dark Mode. For years Untappd's iconic yellow interface has been synonymous with the app. But many Untappd community users find themselves searching, rating, and reading about beers while hanging at their neighborhood bar, shopping at a local craft beer store, or visiting their favorite taproom in the evening.
During these darker hours scrolling through a blindingly bright app can be a pain. Dark Mode was, by far, the most frequent request we received since the last major version was introduced back in 2017.
While the iconic yellow interface is something we've been known for since the beginning, the latest edition of Untappd makes it easier to use in the dark and lays the foundation for future improvements.
"Imagine you are in a dark taproom or bar setting. Your phone is at max brightness and you open up the previous version of Untappd. The very first thing you see is a blindingly bright orange and white screen with the Untappd logo that while very iconic is both screaming at the people you're with and screaming at the bartender that, you just opened Untappd," says Roderick.
Currently, you can switch to Dark Mode through your own phone's system settings. By toggling your phone over to Dark Mode, the Untappd app will simultaneously change over as well.
Dark Mode will make the app easier to read in darker conditions, much like when your navigation app changes to a dark background if you go through a tunnel or drive at night.
In addition to Dark Mode the Untappd version 4.0 will include a few more features.
What Else Can We Expect from the New Untappd 4.0 Updates?
Mainly, Roderick points out how the new sorting and filtering options have improved the flow of the app. The options to sort and filter top categories on the Discovery page such as trending beers, trending locations, top rated beers, top rated breweries, etc. are all now in one place.
"They're selectable and scrollable in such a way as you add new filtering options on top of them you're able to see filtering options updated live inside the top navigation bar," says Roderick.
Lastly, Roderick and his engineering team have made it easier to navigate some of the app's key pages such as Activity and Notifications. Previously, each of these sections included tabs at the top that you had to click on to open. In the new version you can simply swipe left and right to see the content. "Overall, it makes the app feel more snappy, feel more responsive, and feel more like a native experience that adapts to the way users are using their devices today," says Roderick.
What Does the Future Look Like for Untappd?
You may also notice that some features in the app have a "Coming Soon" screen. While we work to write and improve these features, stay tuned to release notes on the Untappd Product Updates blog and keep your app updated to get the latest. We're tracking toward the addition of the following features in a future version
- Collaboration beers displayed on brewery pages
- Beer results in search and beer page will display an icon that indicates if it's on one of your lists
- Quick check-in from search results
- Beer style guide text and detail pages with similar beers
- Displaying links to event details from profiles
- In-app notifications for DMs
- Check-in content in DMs
- Disabling the photo editor after check-in
- Many accessibility and screen reader improvements
- Name tag and friend name tag scanning
"We're hoping to bring back many of the features that folks know and love and hope that the core Untappd experience is there for everyone," says Roderick. "We're bringing a lot more of the advanced features that used to be in the older applications like quick check-ins, the beer style guide, map selection, face id, camera disabling, etc. And hopefully future relevant features like in-person friend tagging and interactions are more relevant to the world reopening in the future."
Features Like Friend Name Tags.
Introduced as a part of Untappd's 2019 Charlotte Beer Festival, this tool makes it easier to meet friends from the Untappd community in person.
Untappd has been great at fostering in person interactions, especially at beer festivals or in taprooms. In any of these situations you might be talking to and making a friend with someone over a beer. But how do you stay in contact with them after you leave? Fittingly, Friend Name Tags allow you to just scan someone's QR code in the Untappd app and it will send them a friend request right then and there.
"We wanted to make making friends with other Untappd community users in person a quick and painless process," says Roderick. "We're hopeful with the world reopening and the feature coming back in the next update that it will continue to foster those meaningful in-person interactions and continue friendship through the app."
And while Roderick couldn't share everything else that's on the horizon, he did drop one hint: Year in Beer is coming soon.
A look back at the places you've been, the beers you've had, and the friends you may have tagged along the way, Year in Beer is a statistical retrospective on your personal year in beer. It's very popular. "If you've ever done Spotify Wrapped it's like that, but for beer," says Roderick. "We're hoping to go bigger and better this year."
Overall, each iteration of the Untappd updates are laying the groundwork for the future of the app. "It's not enough to just roll out the same application again and catch up to those features. The whole point is for us to get this version out and set the stage for future improvements that can make the Untappd experience a really meaningful one," says Roderick.
If Dark Mode is any indication of the innovation of Untappd's engineering team, continue to look out for big things from this group in the future. "I'm really encouraged by the talent and folks we have on the team today," says Roderick. "We're really capable and talented and I'm super excited for the possibility of how much we will improve the Untappd experience in the future."
Looking For Even More?
Tune into this week's episode of Drinking Socially as hosts Harrison Hickok and Jon Dispenza welcome Roderick to the show where he gets giddy as a little kid chatting about all the new updates.
Don't see something you expected? Have a few thoughts on how Untappd could improve? Looking to leave feedback for the engineering team? Reach out to [email protected] and we'll take a look! And as always, if you have questions, comments, or feedback for our team, reach out to us at [email protected] or on our Support page!