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Corey Spencer was an entrepreneur with a clever idea for a smartphone dating app—one that prioritized finding nearby users, rather than those on the other side of town. While this may sound like something every dating site does, the reality is that most profile-based dating apps considered location a secondary feature at the time.

What’s more? Other apps on the market weren’t very effective at pinpointing location. They often determined where a user was based on their IP address, leading to location estimates that were off by hundreds of meters or more. Other apps tried to use GPS to pinpoint location, but GPS was notoriously inaccurate.

In other words, the standard technology wouldn’t work well for connecting with those who were truly in the vicinity. And that’s what inspired Corey to launch his own, fully self-funded startup called yPree.

Finding the Right Partners

The dating app industry is a powerful one, expected to pass $8.4 billion in revenue by 2024. Corey hoped to enter that market with a unique product. He just needed the right tech partners to bring it to life, and that’s what led him to Net Solutions.

He reached out to a number of developers to discover how they might be able to help him build a powerful app for both iOS and Android devices, but he struggled to find someone fully qualified to support the endeavor.

When he finally spoke with Net Solutions, however, he was pleasantly surprised. Not only did this team in India grasp the concept quickly—they also asked probing questions to determine the feasibility of certain features and the usability of proposed workflows.

Xerox Typical Company Intranet

Validating the Project with a
Proof-of-Concept

The Net Solutions team didn’t want to see Corey waste his money on the idea if existing technology couldn’t fully support it, so they recommended beginning with a Proof-of-Concept (PoC). The PoC consisted of Bluetooth-to-Bluetooth communications between smartphone devices, and it worked exactly as everyone hoped it would.

Building yPree

At its core, the app would work like any other dating app. Users create profiles, specify their search criteria, and take their profiles live. It’s yPree’s “Local Find” feature that made it special.

Once a profile went live, the app tried to locate other Bluetooth enabled devices running yPree, identifying other users open for connection. If the app does not find any local devices, it falls back on GPS to find the nearest yPree users.

A user then sends a request to connect, and if the other user accepts, yPree launches its chat feature powered by Quickblox. If the chat turns abusive, the user can report the violation. Staff would then review the violation and remove the offender if the messages violate their terms of service.

The user apps worked smoothly on both Android and iOS devices, while admins conducted platform management through a Django-based web app.

Successful Engagement + two Long-term Relationships

Launch, Positive Reception, and Ultimate Pivot

The app received many positive reviews, and users enjoyed connecting with locals from an app that prioritized location.

Eventually, Corey decided there was greater opportunity in employing the underlying technology for another purpose.

Today, yPree allows users to chat, share photos, and quickly exchange other files with any nearby user—even if they don’t have that user’s contact information stored in their phones.

Net Solutions’ vigilance in both validating the concept and building a well-designed app made it possible for Corey to follow his startup dreams and make his vision a reality.

Results

Net Solutions worked with Corey Spencer to help build the yPree iOS and Android apps—a unique app that prioritized connecting with nearby users. From validation to launch, Net Solutions worked with Corey to:

  • Delivered a Proof-of-Concept for the proposed Bluetooth-to-Bluetooth communication between phones. This ensured that Corey’s vision was, in fact, feasible.
  • Built a dating app that relied on Bluetooth communication to find nearby users.
  • Created a GPS fallback option, for those times when the Bluetooth communication device does not find any local users.

The app worked smoothly on both devices and included a chat feature powered by Quickblox and web-based platform management supported by Django.

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