Maybe you've asked, "Why doesn't someone create an app that helps me connect with friends before I arrive at my destination?" Well, good news. Meet Gypsy Circle. [free, available in the App Store for iPhone/iPad]
No longer do you have to put embarrassing social pleas to Facebook: "Anyone going to be in LA August 12th-17th?" With Gypsy, you can "arrive connected."
How it works:
Input your travel plans and Gypsy will show both your friends that live in the area as well as those with upcoming visits. Push-notifications help avoid missed-connections.
The app is smooth with an elevated, handsome design. Navigation is clear and simple: four "buttons" that let you access settings, add friends, enter your travel plans, and start chats. Free international messaging doesn't hurt, either.
Unlike Apple's Messages, chats read from the bottom up, a feature that may throw off users, if only for a second or two.
Gypsy Circle just released an updated version with integrated contact lists June 26th, solving a shareability issue that kept user numbers low. According to CEO & Founder, Andrew Butash, future updates will "feature a 'Travel Feed' to see your friends' trips as well as a 'Home Feed' to show you who will be in your city within the next month. Down the road, Gypsy Circle will even include travel plans of friends-of-friends, so you can arrive connected anywhere in the world."
The bottom line:
Rick Stamberger, CEO of SmartBrief, Inc., offers, "Everyone gets the Gypsy Circle concept immediately and the response is always the same -- 'I'd definitely use it!' I think they're addressing an unmet need for an always connected world." In a time when we're reliant on the same technology that gave us freedom to keep us connected, Gypsy has the potential to be a dominant social network that conquers the thing most travel apps tend to ignore: social utility.