About six weeks ago, I wrote about Avocado, a new mobile app that lets couples share photos, to-do lists, and exchange messages with each other. The app was created by a couple of ex-Googlers, who had raised a $1.3 million seed round from Baseline Ventures, General Catalyst, Lightspeed Ventures, and others to further develop the app.
Avocado is one of the latest in a string of apps focused on mobile sharing between couples: There’s also Pair, Cupple, and SimplyUs, among others. But the team fully expects more to pop up — which is why they’ve just released Guacamole, an API and toolkit for building cross-platform apps and services for couples.
According to Avocado founder Chris Wetherell, the idea behind making the API available is to enable any developer to quickly and easily create up new services for couples, without having to rebuild its code from scratch. It’s early days for couples apps, and it’s not really clear which features will most resonate with users, so opening up its toolkit will allow different developers to experiment and determine what works and what doesn’t.
It could also help expand apps to new platforms that the Avocado team doesn’t necessarily have the resources to build on their own. Avocado has three clients right now — an iPhone app, an Android app, and a web app. But if somebody wanted to build a Mac app for the Avocado service, Wetherell said they’d be more than welcome to do so.
But what about security? One of the key issues facing these types of apps is the private information shared between couples. How does Avocado plan to ensure that third-party developers will be as careful with private messaging and photos as it is? Well, for one thing, Avocado isn’t passing out API keys willy-nilly — it’s asking developers to tell it what they’re building and how they plan to use its tools before they grant access, according to Wetherell. And if they find any developer doing anything nefarious with its API, they’ll revoke access.
Developers who wish to use the Guacamole toolkit can go to avocado.io/guacamole, where they’ll get API documentation, utilities for managing multiple asnyc callbacks through Node.js, an http wrapper for native functions, and the team’s own canonical guacamole recipe. Wetherell said he fully expects developers to argue over the recipe — just hopefully not the API or tools.