IOS · SMS services

Building a social events app on IOS, what is a strong way to ensure non-iOS users can participate?

Robert Travers Founder & CEO at Bobber, INC.

July 26th, 2015

Our team is about 3/4 the way through managing the outsourced build of an iOS app with a team in the Ukraine and I'm looking for the best part-time solution for ensuring that "non-iOS" users are able to participate. i.e. If a iOS user invites a non-iOS user to an "event" through the app, what are some of the options/solutions or the best way for us to work with other mobile devices/platforms without building for them right away? 

We are planning on building out on other platforms following the (knock on wood) successful launch and validation of our MVP on iOS, but before we raise additional funds and spend the money to do so, what have others done in the past that would work, or are there new solutions that work even better today that we should explore? 

My plan has been to explore using sms to send messages to non iOS users for invites and responses to those invites with text-commands "reply" "YES" if your in. (No or maybe) no reply. etc etc. Does this work? Has anyone been apart of a product that has done this successfully or know of ones that have? I know some big name like twitter and venmo began this way, pre-smart-phone era, but I'm unsure about how best to approach/plan for this. Is it that straight forward? is it very expensive? does it work at all? 

Does Kickfolio (now and/or other resources solve for this? Curious to hear what other solutions people have used, heard of, or are trying. I think with a social events application its pretty essential to include as many people as possible and could be make or break for the app. 

Look forward to hearing responses. Thanks in advance!  

Peter K Chen Software/Growth Engineer

July 26th, 2015

Personally from my technical experience, I would just design and develop responsive web views in addition to the iOS app so if users are sharing the events on different social platforms you can account for desktop browsers as well. Which then you can prompt them to download the iOS app and show that the android version is coming soon. Similar to Instagram's approach as they were strictly mobile based to ensure quality and mobile uploads only but their content was shared heavily on Twitter.