The world’s largest social beer platform featuring over 1B check-ins all-time, 2M beers, and 9M registered users just rolled out its first major release in over four years. Our friends at Untappd are kicking things up a notch with many new features. But, we are by far the most excited about Untappd Dark Mode.
This new innovation allows you to discreetly check-in on the app, whether you’re in a dimly lit bar or brewery or simply scrolling through the app right before bedtime. As we so often do.
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 finally ready to be released to the public. Ahead of the rollout we sat down with Roderick to discover what exactly is Dark Mode along with the other new upgrades we could expect to see on the app over the next several weeks and what the future holds for Untappd.
What Exactly Is Untappd 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 or visiting their favorite taproom in the evening.
During these darker hours scrolling through a bright app can be a pain. The latest edition of Untappd makes it easier to use in the dark. And lays the foundations for future improvements.
Currently, you can switch to Untappd Dark Mode through your own phone’s system interface. By toggling your phone to Dark Mode, the Untappd app will simultaneously change over as well.
In the future you’ll be able to manually force the app into Untappd Dark Mode despite the system setting on your phone. This means that even if your phone is in light mode your Untappd app can stay in Dark Mode if you choose.
“I can tell you for a fact that [Untappd Dark Mode] was the most frequently requested feature that we have received since Untappd 3.0 launched in 2017,” says Roderick. “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. While very iconic this both screams at the people you’re with and screams at the bartender that you just opened Untappd.”
Overall, Dark Mode allows you to check in beers and find venues even if the bar or restaurant you’re in is dimly lit.
And this update is just the start.
What Other Features Are a Part of the Untappd 4.0 Rollout?
In addition to Untappd Dark Mode Roderick says the new sorting and filtering options have improved the flow of the app. Moved to the top of the Discover page, 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 Else Can We Expect From The New Version Of Untappd?
Even with major new innovations like Dark Mode Roderick and his team are constantly looking to add additional features.
You may notice that some features in the app have a “Coming Soon” screen. While Untappd works 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.
Other Updates from Untappd Coming Soon Include:
- 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 Untappd’s 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 making a friend with someone over a beer. But how do you stay in contact after you leave? Fittingly, Friend Name Tags allow you to just scan someone’s QR code in the Untappd app and it will automatically send them a friend request.
“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 friendship through the app.”
Roderick says you can expect to see more developments here in the future.
What Does the Future Look Like For Untappd?
While at the time of publication 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 to Learn More About Untappd Dark Mode?
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 Roderick and his support team with any questions or comments at help.untappd.com or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.