Inspiration

According to studies, increasing cases of illness in today's young adults are cause by increasing feelings of loneliness. People who travel often or have recently moved are more likely to suffer the physical and mental effects of severe social isolation. We found that, for us personally, traditional social search apps were too heavily focussed on dating, and we needed something to fill the gap.

What it does

You see a list of potential connections (based on shared interests), and can "swipe right" (on iOS) or "like" (on web). If they've done the same for you, you get the option to send a text message or make a voice call, without sharing your number.

How we built it

We built a backend + web version using rails, and a mobile version on iOS. They talk to each other via a standard JSON API. The private SMS and Voice calling features use Nexmo.

Challenges we ran into

We ran into some issues setting things up, particularly because the ruby gems needed to get authentication working with iOS had strict yet unwritten version conflict with current versions of Ruby and Rails.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Getting the Nexmo integration working for voice calls was our big cheer moment.

What we learned

We learned more about integrating Rails with iOS, particularly for authentication, which none of use had set up from scratch before.

What's next for Friend

We'd love to fine tune the UI on web and mobile, implement more robust call feature, and of course write tests for everything.

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