This past couple weeks saw the introduction of some very popular apps into the Windows Phone platform. Instagram released a BETA application to get users started while features are still being polished. Vine also roped its way into the Store last week, and Waze navigated a route onto Windows Phone (I’m so clever). But Windows Phone still has a long way to go to catch up with both iOS and Android, both boasting over 700,000 apps. Stephen Elop stated many times that the focus was getting quality apps to the ecosystem, which would help drive Windows Phone adoption. Microsoft claims to have 46 out of the 50 top apps found on other rival platforms, and they’re hoping to close the app gap by next year. While that’s a significant number of popular apps, there is one that I, as a bisexual male, have been pretty disappointed to still not see on Windows Phone: Grindr.
For those who don’t know, Grindr is a geosocial app targeted at men in the LGBT community. When downloaded, you create a profile where you can include a short About Me, along with stats like age, height, ethnicity, and body type. You can then indicate what you’re “looking for” (dates, friends, relationship, networking, etc.), and recently added was the option to state what “tribe” you belong to, which is basically a way to further categorize members based on body type, fetishes, personality types, age, and more (Jock, leather, geek, daddy, discreet… the list goes on). You can upload a profile photo, but there are strict guidelines as to what content can be shown, so that means nothing pornographic or images containing nudity or any sort (there is a list of guidelines that users can reference, and photos must go through an approval process before they are displayed). Of course, what makes Grindr so useful is its location based functions, letting users show their distance so that they can find other guys nearby. The main view is sorted by distance so that this task is much easier. I like to call it a pocket gaydar 😉 Which is helpful for guys like me who don’t have one already built in.
Grindr was launched in 2009 and grew ever so quickly within the LGBT community, reaching the 4 million mark by June of 2012 and spanning 192 countries across the globe. It has won a number of awards including Best Mobile Dating App for 3 straight years, and TechCrunchie’s 2011 Crunchies Award for Best Location Application, to name a few. Grindr is available on iOS and Android, with even a version on Blackberry OS (not including BB10). There are two versions: a free one that includes ads, and an ad-free version (Grindr Xtra) that is subscription based. They even created a version called Blendr, which is geared towards people of all sexual orientations. The only thing that’s missing is a version for Windows Phone.
There’s quite a number of gay social apps out there, and I surely don’t know all of them. Grindr is by far the most popular, followed by Jack’d and Scruff, then others like Hornet and (in my opinion) A4A Radar. of course, iOS has them all, and I’m sure android has all, if not, most of them. Windows Phone, on the other hand, has a very poor selection of gay social apps. So far I’ve found Scruff and GuySpy, and while the former is pretty popular, it is missing many features found on iOS and Android, and neither of the apps are actually very good on Windows Phone. This lack of adequate gay social apps on Windows Phone doesn’t seem very inviting to members of the LGBT community, and can sometimes even be a dealbreaker. I have a number of gay friends, with only few of them actually using Windows Phone. And those who do, complain about the lack of a Grindr app, while some of those who aren’t using Windows Phone but consider(ed) making the switch, retract or hesitate when they find out that Grindr is non-existent in the Windows Phone world. I went as far as to purchase an iPod Touch, and aside from its obvious functions as a portable music/media player, one of my justifications for buying one was that I could use Grindr on it. That’s right, $350 for a music player and Grindr. But to me, it was worth it, because it allows me to find members of the LGBT community that I would otherwise have missed due to my oblivious nature as a queer/bisexual man.
Sean Davis from LGBT News and Gay Blog, The Quire, is confident that Windows Phone will soon see a Grindr app launching soon, and has listed some reasons as to why this makes sense. While I’m not entirely convinced, Windows Phone has seen its adoption growing steadily, and a number of popular apps making their way onto the OS. So, what are the guys over at Grindr LLC waiting for? They keep mentioning on Twitter how great the Windows Phone platform is, and I’m sure they’ve had more than a handful of requests over the past few years. Bringing Grindr to Windows Phone will keep form isolating millions of Windows Phone users around the world, especially those in the US where not only is the platform finally gaining traction, but also where Grindr sees the most user activity.
So are you like me and still waiting for Grindr to reach Windows Phone? If so, go bother the guys over at @GrindrSupport and let them know how tired we are of waiting! Or complain to Microsoft about how they need to push for an app, like they (Nokia) did with Instagram.