Monday, October 17, 2011

Found my Friends, Even the Adulturous Ones

I upgraded to the new iPhone operating system last week, after a lengthy wait when the whole world tried to do it at the same time.

The new iOS has some pretty cool new additions, most of which should add some incremental value to my phone, but largely not earth-shattering.

However, one of the newest Apps for the phone might be earth-shattering for my life if I can play my cards right.

Maybe, just maybe, I can start to persuade my wife to get an iPhone, thanks to the new Find My Friends app.

If you don't know anything about Find My Friends, it's the app that let's you geo-locate your friends who also have iPhones, and place their approximate location on a map.

A great advancement in technology for the obsessives, suspicious, and introverted among us.

The app essentially eliminates the need to actually talk to people to find out where they are, and completely destroys the boundaries between friends that Facebook didn't already obliterate.

Want to hang out with a friend but they're ditching your calls? Find Your Friend on the iPhone and just show up to what will assuredly be an awkward encounter.

This app creates a new threshold in friend-dom, or the friend hierarchy, or levels of friendship. Because you'll really have to be friends with someone to give them your geo-location data. Want to be Facebook or LinkedIn connections with someone? No big deal, you're not obligated to share any personal details with them.

But if my understanding of Find My Friends is correct, if that person's your friend, you're giving them the ability to...

a) Drop by a bar where you're hanging out

b) Know exactly when they can drop by your apartment because you'll be there

c) Know exactly when they can drop by your apartment because you WON'T be there, and they can steal all your stuff

Requesting a Find My Friends friendship with someone would be the true test of how much you want that person in your life, because there doesn't seem to be any in-between. Either they know where your phone is at all times, or they can never find you. Doesn't leave a lot of room for pseudo-friends and acquaintances.

With that said, I'm really hoping for some interesting mash-ups with other technology services.

With TripAdvisor - Find My Fellow Travelers

With Craigslist - Find My Casual Encounters

With the State Sex Offender Registry - Find My Child Predators

I'm also looking forward to more stores about people using Find My Friends for unforeseen purposes. We've already had the first cheating spouse caught, so I'm looking forward to the first robbed apartment while they were out story, the first guilt established by geo-location at the scene of the crime story, and the first stalker found me now I'm suing Apple story. Remember to read your user agreements.

But anyway, with all that said, I'm kind of excited for Find My Friends. Because, while I can't think of a lot of people who would really care where I am, I know with 100% certainty that my wife cares a lot.

And since she knows I don't go anywhere without my phone, she would definitely be interested in using that app (and not in a 'I need to check on my loser husband way, more of a 'Which state is my husband in now and can we confirm his plane didn't go down in a massive fireball' kind of way).

Find My Friends offers that opportunity, and maybe that could convert her.

Then maybe she'd have her own phone and would stop playing games on mine!

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