You might think Google has covered all the bases when it comes to apps — it’s hard to think of a mobile software category the company doesn’t have an offering in — but its engineers are still spinning out new ideas. The latest to see the light of day is called Who’s Down, although for the time being you’re going to need an invite before you can start using it.
As you can probably guess from the name of the app, it simply allows you to see which of your friends are free to hang out right now: A simple slider sets your status which is good for three hours. The app lets you specify what type of activity you’re down for — from hitting the gym to grabbing some tacos — and you can chat inside the app with any of your friends who are currently around and available.
“Instantly see which of your friends are free to hang out, right when you are,” reads the app listing on the Play Store. “And with one slider, you can let your friends know you’re down to hang out too. It’s that simple. Always know who is free to hang out, so you never miss out on the fun.” The app is also available to download for free on iOS.
Hold on just a moment though — you need to be studying at a college in the U.S. to be eligible to use the app at the moment (the same strategy Facebook used in its early days). Even if you meet the criteria there’s a waiting list, so your best option is probably to find someone who’s already using it and get them to add you to their trusted circle of contacts.
As yet, Google hasn’t said anything official about the app, so it may be a small-scale experiment that never gets a wider rollout. It’s an interesting idea though and could give the tech giant a small foothold in the social networking space that it’s been trying so hard to get into.