App Developers Cashing in on the LGBT Community
A guide to LGBT friendly apps and their myriad of uses
Finding it hard...no pun intended...to find a date these days? Well it’s time to move into the new age of mobile dating. Just as digital dating sites like America Online 15 years ago revolutionized the way gays meet, date and hook up, mobile dating is doing it again. America Online introduced us chat rooms; sites like Manhunt and Adam4Adam introduced us to cruising online; now apps are once again changing the way we meet, date and hook up.
SFGN decided to highlight some of the most popular, most obscure and most recent apps to pop up.
If you’re a gay guy with a smartphone and you haven’t heard of the ever so popular Grindr you’ve been living under a rock in Afghanistan. But for those technologically challenged here’s a quick overview. It’s a free app available on Android, Blackberry, and the iPhone and has 3 million users worldwide. All versions of Grindr allow for a seamless transition that allows you to have the same profile on multiple devices such as an iPhone and iPad. For $2.99 a month you can purchase Grindr Xtra, which allows you to view up to 200 guys at a time, removes ads and allows for push notifications. Be careful though on what you post. Grindr recently fell victim to a major cyber attack, which took advantage of flaws in the mobile app’s security. The hacker used those flaws to access the service’s user accounts, and posted account information online. The attack mostly targeted Australian users. It was reported that apparently the hacker spoofed several accounts in Sydney, Australia and sent messages and changed profile photos to graphic images without the real user’s knowledge. On the other hand, Grindr recently won the TechCrunch’s 2011 Crunchies Award for Best Location Application and the took home two awards. The app won "Best Mobile Dating App" at the 2012 iDate Awards and "Best New Technology" at the 9th annual Dating Industry & Internet Dating Conference.
Visit Grindr.com for more information.
If Grindr is too mainstream for you, check out GuySpy which is a free app on Android, and iPhone, and also has a web-based interface. Members are displayed on a grid similar to Grindr but also offers a map on the iPhone and Android. Voice and video messages can be sent in chat as well. Their tagline is "Anytime, Anywhere and Any Way." In addition to the app they have a fairly expansive blog that ranges from interviews with porn starts to political activists. The app was also featured in the 2011 movie Judas Kiss. There’s also a premium version, GuySpy+, which gives users access to more features including travel mode and HD video messaging. The upgraded version costs $1.99 for 30 days, $5.99 for 90 days, and $22.99 for a year.
Visit GuySpy.com for more information.
Jack’d is a free app for the iPhone and Android. It offers push notifications, a match finder, and multiple profile pictures along with unlimited message exchanges. Unfortunately Jack’d is notably buggy with one Android user saying, ""I LOVE this app, its way better than Grindr and Adam4adam but the new updates are dumb to me. I can’t use my auto-correct when I’m typing messages (very dumb!) And my radius got smaller (dumber!) Please fix this and once again this app will be my favorite :)" [SIC].
Visit Jackd.mobi for more information.
Grindr watch out. So far few apps have been able to put a dent into Grindr’s market share of gay dating and hook up apps, but this is one to watch for. Hornet may be just the one to finally challenge Grindr. It’s a free app for the iPhone and Android. It allows users to upload multiple private and public photos. Another neat feature is the notes feature, which allows a user to keep track of information about the guys you’ve talked with. It includes an explore feature which allows a user to find guys in other areas that they may be traveling to. One iPhone user stated "Hands down better than Grindr. No annoying ads, fast photo approval and friendly customer service." They also offer a stealth mode.
Another feature they’ve incorporated into their app is "Know your Status" (KYS). In their profile, positive or recently tested guys will get a special marker, so that users are prompted to enroll in a voluntary campaign for a safer environment. Once a test comes up for renewal, Hornet will remind users to get tested again, or their KYS status lapses to unknown.
Other features include stealth mode, forwarding profiles and extensive filters so you can focus on what you do want to see.
Visit GetHornet.com for more information.
GaysAroundMe is a new product for the iPhone from the company SinglesAroundMe. The app is free, however requires a premium account to send messages or respond to messages. The premium account cost $2.99 for one month or $19.99 for 1 year. Existing SinglesAroundMe users simply sign into GaysAroundMe to access their profile.
"With a half million downloads worldwide we are extremely excited to be able to offer a dedicated, sophisticated product for single gay men," said Christopher Klotz, CEO of SinglesAroundMe in a press release. "In counterpoint to other gay dating apps such as GuySpy, Grindr and Maleforce, GaysAroundMe offers a classy platform through which to meet other gay singles. It also allows users the opportunity to choose to display their location on a geographical map, which means it’s easier to meet up in real time."
Adam4Adam is a free web based site, however offers an app called Radar on both the iPhone and Android. The app allows for users to be sorted by both location and latest login. Supporters, or users who donate to Adam4Adam, receive various upgrades such as unlimited conversation length, more pictures, and allows for conversations to be increased from 40 messages to 200 messages, costing $10 for 1 month or $25 for 3. Pro accounts are available to massage therapists, personal trainers, and photographers. Adam4adam also offers an online adult toy store selling various products, live cameras, and a pay-per-view porn site. The company also has a fairly risqué Tumblr and Twitter feed.
Visit Adam4Adam.com for more information.
Looking for a man’s man? Well look no further, Scuff is the app for you. It’s free on both the iPhone and Android. The app is targeted towards the more rough and tumble guys. In an interview with FrontiersLA co-founder Johnny Scruff stated, "The guys on SCRUFF are definitely what sets us apart! All kinds of guys use SCRUFF-servicemen, firefighters, jocks, bears and lots of everyday guys. We have an inclusive community that welcomes all kinds. On that note, I love that we have famous drag queens on SCRUFF!"