Have you heard of Grindr yet? Seems like just about every queer person I know has at least heard if it by now.
Every time I am in a group of LGBT folks and I pull out my iPhone, the conversation almost inevitably turn discussing the gay male
dating hookup app. Lesbians, in particular, seem genuinely fascinated by the whole concept, some out the sheer brilliance while others seem to be passing judgment about the lengths gay men will go to get laid.
Since the idea that hooking up can be so technologically advanced (and so easy) really seems to intrigue folks, I thought I'd write up a bit about the app, how it works and share some screenshots.
The home screen opens to a panoply of pictures of the men in your area recently using the service - and since the iPhone is location aware, it ranks these potential suitors by proximity to your current location. (It's particularly fun to open the app in a gay bar, where you can have a whole screen of guys who are "0" feet away.)
Clicking on one of the small icons takes you to a guy's profile, which lists his name, age, online status, distance, and a 1-2 sentence "message". You can chat, send more pics and - if you find your Mr. Right Now - he can send you a map to his location (or vice versa.) If you happen to find Mr. Every Now and Again, you can mark a him as a "favorite" and he'll always appear at the top of your list making him easier to find.
There is also a paid version, Grindr X ($2.99) which purports to load "more guys" than the unpaid version; but it's most important feature is push notifications. Push notifications let you receive messages without having to leave the app open. (One way to think of it is that it makes it function more like text messaging than a chat program.)
The only problem with Grindr X is that after a month, you have to pay that $2.99 fee again or they disable your push notifications. I think $0.99 would be more reasonable.
It's a very simple, but well put together app. It works well as long as you can get a decent signal on AT&T's crappy network. I've tested *cough cough* the app in several cities we've visited over the past few months and even in somewhat remote places, I found guys online and feeling frisky.
You never know what kind of guys you'll find on Grindr. It always depends on where you are and when you log on. There is no "typical" guy beyond his owning an iPhone, iPad or iTouch. I've even run into several "well-known" gay men in my travails.
In general, larger cities have lots of chatty guys no matter when you log on, day or night. In most cities, it was generally less than 5 minutes from the time I first logged on before I got my first chat message. Sometimes it would be a deluge, while at other times, even trying to chat up a guy wasn't worth the effort.
Guys, if you have an iPhone (or iPad/iTouch) and you find yourself looking for a Mr. Right Now - whether traveling or at home - then Grindr can be a really fun way to aid your quest.
Ladies and non-iPhone users needn't fret - the company says they will release versions for lesbians and even straight folks and that they are working on apps for Android, Palm and Blackberry. Soon you too will be able to get your Grindr groove on.
Get Grindr at the App Store (Free, Opens iTunes):
Get GrindrX at the App Store ($2.99, Opens iTunes):
Visit Grindr's website at: http://www.grindr.com/