The mobile cruising space is getting crowded. Although Grindr appears to lead the pack with user numbers in the high six-figures, they’re being tailed by apps like West Fourth and GayCities, which we mentioned in March. And while Manhunt.net has gone the mobile site (and not mobile app) route, we’ve also spotted two new entrants into the phone hook up space.
There’s Hardline Mobile [iTunes link; pictured left], which looks Grindr-y but has its own gimmick: “IVR,” or interactive voice response, which is just a fancy way of saying you can send audio and video messages to someone you’re interested in. Text messaging is sooo 2009.
Then we’ve got Bandana [iTunes link; pictured right], which attempts to take location-based cruising to the hyper-local level by skipping over GPS and instead using Bluetooth, the short-range radio technology that’s limited to about 100 feet. Bandana’s creators — who named the app after the hanky code, I’m guessing — say this “turns your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch into an actual ‘gaydar detector.’” And It just might work … if you’re in a crowded Starbucks or cubicle farm. Though I do like the idea of launching Bandana, forgetting about it, and then feeling a vibration in my pocket every time I walk by another person running the app. What better way to feel an instant connection? (*Groan*)
Honestly, the real success story among all these apps will be won by whichever developer is the first to make use of the iPhone 4′s FaceTime/phone-to-phone video chat feature. It’s going to revolutionize phone sex. It’s also going to get you in trouble with your spouse.