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iFob: Lets You Find & Connect With Other iPhoners Around You

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iFob uses the built-in wireless connectivity of Apple’s iPod touch and iPhone, or any laptop, to communicate directly with other close by copies of iFob. iFob instantly lets people in coffee shops, airports and any other public hotspot exchange taglines & simple profiles, both publically and privately.

iFob is a brand new native iPhone application that bills itself as ‘Wireless social networking for real people’ – and I think it looks like a very fun idea.  You install the app and then get on a WiFi network at a public place and let it look around for other iPhone or iPod Touch users around you.  It gives you visual and sound alerts when another iFobber is nearby, and you can chat with them via the program if you like, or even let it be the starting point for an in person chat about your lovely hacked-up iPhone.

So, similar to what the strapline says, I’d say it’s a bit of social networking in the real world, with people who are close by, rather than out there on the web somewhere.

Here are some of iFob’s main features:

  • Public Taglines that any iFob user can see.
  • Add more detailed public information about yourself.
  • Add additional private information that you can chose which iFob users may see.
  • Chat with other iFob users who are in the same hotspot.
  • Is not a web site: iFob is software that is installed on your iPhone, iPod or laptop.
  • Mark other iFob users as "interesting" if you would like to pay aifob4ttention to in the future.
  • Visual and sound indicators when other iFob users come into the room.
  • Block iFob users based on whether or not they are boring so you will never be bored by them again.
  • Versions for iPod touch, iPhone, Windows PCs and Mac Intel laptops.
  • Works with any wireless network which your iPod, iPhone or laptop can connect with.
  • iPod and iPhone version are 100% free.
  • No subscription fees.
  • No advertising or any other kind of hassleware.
  • Ultra simple to use.
  • Ultra simple "profiles" with no required fields.
  • No having to define categories for yourself.

When I first read about iFob, I quickly thought of some of the downsides of having real-live people near you and sharing information about yourself with strangers – strangers that are close by – but the app lets you share as little or as much about yourself as you like.  So you can just keep it to a name and a little tagline, or add other details if you want, including profile pictures etc.  It even has a ‘Make Me Visible’ setting, so presumably you can turn that Off and be a bit of lurker until you see someone sensible looking.

I’ve installed iFob and gave it a quick go at a couple of Starbucks this evening – but alas, did not find any other iPhoners / iFobbers as yet. Hopefully this will catch on a bit, and will be a fun way to meet up with other iPhone / Touch owners when you feel like it, and socialize a bit more directly once in a while. 🙂

iFob is available on Installer now – the latest Version 1.41 is required for use with iPhone firmware 1.1.3.  That should be on Installer soon as well.  In the meantime you can get it by adding the iFob source, which is: ifob.icloseby.com.

iCloseby, who make iFob, plan to make the app available post-SDK, and keep it a free app as well – you gotta like that.

Check out iFob and let us know what you think / how many other iFobbers you find …

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