A local Chicago entrepreneur and a professional soccer superstar want to help you plan a night our with your friends, directly from your iPhone group chat.
Chicagoan Andrew Draft and Spanish soccer player Gerard Piqué, who plays for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team, have launched Daybook, an app that lets you poll your friends and plan events within Apple’s iMessage.
If you’re an Apple user who’s downloaded iOS 10, you’ve probably noticed that your iMessage looks a little different. In June, Apple announced it was opening up iMessage to third-party developers to let people build products that live in your messaging app. It was a big move for Apple, who has long kept brands from launching their own iMessage extensions.
So with the update, iPhone users now have a dedicated iMessage app store with access to hundreds of services like Venmo, OpenTable and sticker apps available through text messaging. And among the first group of iMessage apps is Daybook, which Draft says was originally intended to be a standalone app, but the company pivoted when they heard the Apple news.
“When (Apple) came out with the announcement in June, a lightbulb went off,” Draft said. “We said, wow this is a big opportunity.”
Daybook was accepted into the iOS 10 beta and went live a few weeks ago with the rollout of the new operating system.
Here’s how it works: With Daybook, iPhone users in a group chat can instantly create polls that allow everyone to vote on proposed activities, like where to eat brunch or what day to go on a vacation. The app’s “who’s in” feature lets people quickly RSVP for an event, and the app also lets you suggest times for meetings and propose locations and venues.
The idea is to make planning events with your friends as efficient as possible, and eliminate the endless stream of back-and-forth texting that takes place in a group chat, Draft said.
Draft met Piqué several years ago when the two were introduced through mutual friends (Draft’s wife is from Barcelona). Their friendship eventually morphed into a business relationship, and they began building Daybook when they saw how difficult it was to plan things in their group chat. Piqué, who recently announced that he will retire from Spain’s World Cup team in 2018, is by no means a tech novice. He opened his own video game development studio in 2012, called Kerad Games, and has launched games like Golden Manager and Final Kick.
Draft says Piqué is very hands on with Daybook, and he–along with the startup’s other founders Asher Corson and Enric Marimon Costa–take part in weekly product meetings.
The emergence of apps like Daybook could signal a shift in the app development community. Experts are declaring that the app boom is officially over as the average American downloads zero apps per month, instead opting to communicate with friends in apps they already have, like iMessage and Facebook Messenger. And a new report shows that messaging apps are now more poplar that social networks.
Draft is hoping Daybook is ahead of the curve by integrating early with iOS 10.
Images via Daybook