Oleg Kostour moved from Canada to Mountain View to build a 3D software startup. Instead, he built an app to stay in touch with the girlfriend he left behind in Canada.
The iPhone app, Pair, launched in the app store this week. It creates a private shared timeline for couples that allows them to easily swap SMS messages, photos, videos and locations.
“We thought, if we’re so disconnected, how can we use our mobile devices to feel a little bit closer, to feel like we can touch each other?” Kostour says.
The app includes a feature called “thumb kiss” that vibrates when both parties touch the same spot on the screen. Couples can also co-create drawings, maintain a joint to-do list and send a “thinking of you” message that works like a more thoughtful Facebook poke.
Pair takes the concept behind Path a step further. Instead of sharing personal updates within a small network, it’s a way to stay constantly connected with the smallest of networks — one other person.
To start using the app, you need to send someone with an iPhone (the Android version is coming soon) a request to be your “pair” on it. Creating multiple pairs isn’t allowed, though it’s easy to unpair and re-pair.
Three of the five men who helped create Pair are in long-distance relationships, but Kostour says that any pair of close friends could use the app to stay in touch throughout the day. Eventually, the startup plans to sell premium games or other activities they can use in the app.
A few Pair activities — or even the concept of keeping an app solely for interacting with one person — might strike some as more nauseating than sweet. But there’s a case to be made that the app is just what the increasing number of young long-distance couples could use.
Instead of juggling Skype dates, phone calls and text messages, the app provides one portal for communication.
“If I want to talk to her, I don’t have to tap anywhere else,” Kostour says of his girlfriend of two years. “Just tap one button and I’m talking to her right away.”