If You Download Fabulis’ iPhone App, Should You Expect A Grindr-Like Experience?

Did you get on Fabulis when it launched? And have you used it lately? About 10,000 dudes are fabbing about every day, according to founder Jason Goldberg. And since last week’s release of their iPhone app, about 20 percent of those visits are via iPhone. Since Fabulis is all about meeting new people, going out, and having fun, I decided to give it a spin this weekend at, where else, a sexy sex fair.

At least, I tried to.

At the leathery kinkfest Up Your Alley, I was only just barely able to get a signal, and gave up trying to to download data after a few minutes. To be fair, that’s the fault of AT&T, not Fabulis.

“If you were at Dore Alley, maybe it was the abundance of leather and lube that got in the way of the connection speed,” Goldberg told me when I asked about it. “I was in SF this weekend and was amazed at how crappy AT&T service is in some areas.”

But then I fired it up again later in the Castro, and reception was a little more cooperative.

What I found: recommendations for events that were more long-term plans than spur-of-the-moment. The app suggested dance parties Booty Call Wednesdays (three days away) and Crotch Rocket (a week away and across town), and a Starcraft II release party (on the other side of the bay).

That’s great if you’re looking for something to do in a couple days. (And indeed, we discovered a great new event that we’d never heard of before: a Queer Cinema class held in a gay club, neato!)

But what if you’re hanging out in a gay ghetto, feeling all pretty in your tight pants and looking for the best place to get your ass noticed RIGHT THIS SECOND?

If you’re not getting any good ideas from the app’s event-recommender, you might want to give the people-finder a try. It’ll randomly connect you with someone close by and then you can ask them what their evening plans are.

We gave it a spin and, good grief, actually found some pretty cool guys. It’s a bit like Grindr Roulette, which could be disastrous, but Fabulis doesn’t have the hook-up-y vibe that makes folks feel obligated to talk sexy, so conversations tend to be a bit more “how’s it going” and less “how’s your cock.”

Fabulis has big plans for future versions, like editing your profile, getting push notifications about messages, and letting you know who’s actually at an event. (Fabulis has always said it’s not a Foursquare killer — but that sounds Foursquarey to us.)

Having a map of nearby events seems like it would be a handy feature. When I was ready to leave my fave bar in the Castro, I would have to check in and see if there was anything cool within walking distance.

But Fabulis on the phone is only in version 1.0, and its features are sure to expand in time. So for now, let’s assume the apps’s a grower, not a shower.