“Free” App Makes It Easy for People to Connect and Make Plans


When you’re tired of spending nights alone at home, the Free app will inform your friends when you can hang out without looking desperate.

Free was recently launched on iOS, allowing users to make a status that will display they have the time to get together with friends. It’s set up with three modes:

  • Busy
  • Flexible
  • Going Out

If you’re in the Going Out or Flexible mode, the Free app will send notifications out to friends who live within your city to let them know that you’re available.

Free app screenshot

You can pick which friends can see the statuses and how long they’re active. Text can be added to suggest activities along with a location and time for noted event. If you have an idea in mind and who you’d like to invite, those friends can be tagged.

Your friends can respond to the status via a private message or through a canned response like:

“See you soon.”

“Miss you.”

Private group chats are also available to finalize plans. During these chat groups, you can like others’ messages, set up a pin location so people know where they are, send emoji stickers or record a short, looping GIF video.

Free app statuses

The app’s inspiration came when the creator was home for a long weekend… no plans and no one to hang with.

Danny Trinh, former social app Path lead designer, said he was free for an extended weekend and he said the majority of folks he texted were either busy or out of town. He tried, with no success, to make plans and found himself wondering if there were a faster way to see who was around to hang out with.

He said Steve Jobs had said a computer is similar to a bike in the mind. He said what if there was some type of social bike.

Free app statuses icons

Trinh said if he had the app before then, he could have hung out with friends during that long weekend. With the app, people can connect with their nearby friends and make plans. He said although there are a number of apps that let people connect to each other, the Free app ensures it’s easier to make plans with folks who are available as well.