This morning, I put out a tweet asking for iPhone app recommendations. It’s fun to hear what people enjoy using.
One tweet from @Coard caught my attention. He recommended the “Pair” app for couples, particularly those in a long-distance relationship. Naturally I was curious, so I downloaded it to give it a try. Unfortunately, you can’t use the app without adding a “partner.”
Pair’s main features are private chat, live sketching, and thumb kissing, as well as some light calendaring.
Private Chat is text messaging (or probably more like a facebook message thread). You already had that. live sketching is kind of cool, if you like sketching. They recommended playing tic-tac-toe, which isn’t a particularly enthralling date. Unless your date is a nine year-old. Finally, thumb kissing…
Thumb kissing works by showing you where your someone-special is touching the screen. When your thumbs align, the phone vibrates and turns red. This thumb kissing idea sure breaks down the barriers of time and space. Just kidding.
To me, it’s awkward…”Hey, want to thumbkiss?” “Excuse me, what?” How is that conversation going to go well?!
Time Magazine’s Techland wrote an article about the app, and said:
Beyond the main timeline, Pair offers more features, including a to-do list that both partners can edit. There’s room for expansion here; I’m wishing for the ability to share calendar appointments, add time- or location-based reminders like the kind built into the iPhone and show more key dates beyond anniversaries and birthdays.
So Pair is text messaging, Facetime, Draw Something, and a to-do list.
Do we need this?
Is this something couples need? Are we going to be truly more connected via thumbkissing, or does it become a silly proxy for actual conversation?
Realistically, long-distance relationships have always been difficult. My parents tell stories about calling each other in the evenings back in the 80′s. They didn’t have enough money to actually talk on the phone, so my dad would “two-ring” the dorm phone at 8:30pm to let his future wife know that he was thinking about her. And that was it.
In a world of Skype, facetime, texting, Facebook chat, and 80 other communication options, I would suggest that long-distance relationships have gotten too easy. The struggle has inverted. Today, it’s about allowing separation to happen, and avoiding the temptation to text 24/7.
Pair is an interesting idea that they’ve executed well, but this isn’t an app I’ll be using. What do you think, is Pair for you?