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!"
Scruff allows for a user to purchase messaging pro for $4.99 and browsing Pro for $3.99. Credits can also be purchased which allows users to send and store hi-res photos.
Visit ScruffApp.com for more information.
If the Scruff men are too young for you then perhaps Daddyhunt is the app for you. As the name suggests it’s for older gay men and the guys who love them. There’s a website and their app version on Android and iPhone is called Mister.
Among the features in the app a user can Man Grind and Grope fellow users. Daddyhunt operates a blog called Age Appropriate that covers a gambit of topics including dating, health, and politics. Mister allows for up to 10 profile pictures and offers free push notifications.
Visit DaddyHunt.com for more information.
All of the apps listed in this spread are all about finding guys, Spartacus, however, is an app for the iPhone, that helps gays search for bars, clubs, saunas, and hotels in 2,580 cities and 143 countries. Spartacus also allows a user to "mood search" which includes the most suitable places to dance, drink, eat, meet, sleep, shop and even to have sex. A subscription costs $14.99 for the world, and $8.99 for America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania for a year. The app also features articles by the editors on the local political situation of the LGBT community as well as local sights, other highlights and a global event calendar listing Pride events around the world.
Visit SpartacusWorld.com for more information.
Like Daddyhunt, SilverDaddies is for older men and the guys who love them. It was originally created to share photos, but has recently expanded into social networking after requests according to the site creator Dennis. The basic features on SilverDaddies are free. They include photo galleries, profile creation, and profile searching. The premium features include a list of profiles who have visited your profile, favorites, unlimited messaging, access to profile galleries, blocking, access to profile videos and the ability to keep profile notes.
SilverDaddies though is only accessible via the web. Premium service costs $15 for 3 months; $30 for 6 months; $40 for 9 months; and $50 for 1 year.
Visit SilverDaddies.com for more information.
Manhunt is probably the longest established dating site opening in 2001. The site is free. However, in the mobile world they lag behind without an app. Manhunt has over 4 million profiles worldwide. They offer mail and video chat to communicate with other users. Unlimited membership offers unlimited messaging, unrestricted profile viewing, and saved searches. Unlimited membership can be purchased for $7 for a week, $30 for 90 days, and $99 for a year.
Visit ManHunt.net for more information.
While some of the other apps may pretend to be "dating" apps Squirt.org has no such identity crisis. It’s for hooking up, plain and simple. Their tagline says it all - "Gay Sex Cruising Hook Up Site." But sorry guys there’s no app as of yet. The website though offers access to popular cruising locations and multiple ways to find men. There’s a free basic membership and a premium membership where members can view unlimited cruising listings, pictures, print out directions to the location, and comment about the location. It also allows members to upload videos.
Visit Squirt.org for more information.
If you’re still having trouble finding a date, or maybe just want a night with no hang-ups, there’s always Rentboy, a web based escort service. The website allows for searching by city, specific sexual position, cock size, and even obscure fetishes like sneakers, PnP, and diapers. The website is free to browse for customers. Escorts and massage therapists, however, have to pay. Rentboy also has adult toy store and pay-per-view porn. Creators Jeff Davids and Sean Van Sant created the International Escort Awards known as the Hookies. The website though is most notable for its controversy involving the case of anti-gay activist George Rekers who hired a man from Rentboy for a ten-day trip to Europe as a "travel assistant."
Visit RentBoy.com for more information.
What if you can’t find a dick or date for the night, but still need something to keep you...well, occupied? There’s always FuckedApps -- a free Web based app for the iPhone and Android that allows you to download other web based apps to watch porn. You won’t find this naughty little app in any official app store. Instead you’ll have to download it as a Web app, which means you’ll only be able access it via the Internet. Some of the Web apps it gives you access to include Gay Bear XXX, MaleSpectrum, OfficeCock, and Sausage Party. Don’t worry though whatever your taste may be, you’ll definitely close this app feeling satisfied.
Visit FuckedApps.com for more information.