Our own John Biggs could tell you that there were some terribly neat projects to be found at the PennApps Hackathon, but not every app there was… on the up-and-up, let’s say. Case in point: a group of young developers whipped up an iOS app called Playbook that lets people upload and rate pictures of their romantic conquests with their so-called “bros.”
Really. Just let that sink in for a moment.
The concept itself is simple but tremendously douchey — after adding your friends, you can upload pictures of your romantic conquests and share them as one would share an ice-cold Natty Ice with your frat brothers on a warm spring night.
Naturally, you’re also able to indicate just how far you got with the poor girl using a particularly tired baseball metaphor, while all your bros can comment on the quality of your so-called “play” (ugh). If you’re lucky (and not necessarily that sort of lucky), one of your bros will appreciate your play and they’ll send you $5 for a beer via Venmo’s mobile payment system. Meanwhile, your plays and those of your closest bros are funneled into one big stream for easy perusal. Wonderful.
To be clear, the creators were having a laugh. None of them are bros in particular and in fact they’re hosting a hackathon in Ann Arbor where they hope to recreate the energy of PennApps in Michigan.
For what it’s worth, co-creator David Fontenot was on Hacker News just a few days ago noting that the team behind the app was working on making it more accessible to non-bros by making the whole package a bit more gender neutral, though you’ve got to wonder how well that plan’ll turn out.
Really though, if we ignore all of the other problems inherent to the app, its biggest issue is that it doesn’t really seem to solve a real problem — aside from facilitating the purchase of alcohol, nothing here couldn’t be done in a GroupMe chat or a Facebook group or even just plain ole’ SMS. That hasn’t stopped about 100 people from signing up for the app’s TestFlight beta, though, so it may not be long at all before Playbook worms its way onto an iPhone near you.