Feb. 27, 2014 at 12:59 PM ET
BroApp, the self-proclaimed “clever relationship wingman” app, lets guys send pre-programmed text messages to their wives or girlfriends, so that they can hang out with their bros uninterrupted.
At first, we were skeptical. It sounded like a way for a lazy boyfriend to be even lazier. But then we talked to Tom and James, both 29, of Brisbane, Australia, who created the app. The inspiration came after they both realized they weren’t spending enough time with their girlfriends because of a long work day. “We created a demo BroApp (we didn't even have a name for it at the time!), just for our use, that sent a single daily check-in message,” they told TODAY. "And was very well-received by our girlfriends!"
Here’s how BroApp works: A bro can select pre-programmed texts to send to his girlfriend, but app users are encouraged to either edit those, or write their own, original versions. Then he sets the time and date to send the text and the app does the rest. Tom and James also built in some precautionary safety features — the app knows the woman’s WiFi, for instance, so she won’t get an awkward text if the bro who pre-programmed the message is at her house. It will also cancel a scheduled message if either member of the couple recently called or texted the other. And just in case a gal wants a peek at someone’s BroApp, she’s put on “girlfriend safety lock down” and misdirected to a fake list of gifts the guy is fake-planning on buying her.
So, is any woman going to be fooled by this app? Apparently, yes. “We used it successfully for three months as a trial and our partners had no idea,.” Tom said. “Personally, my partner was impressed that I would write her a message even though we were going to see each other that night. It did get awkward having to tell [her] about trialing BroApp on her for the past 3 months. When James and I first pitched her the idea, she said, ‘Any girl will work it out.’ She was wrong.”
It may sound a little sneaky or insincere, but consider this: Many women have told Tom and James that the app actually increased communication in their relationships. “In general the recipient girlfriends were surprised that the messages were automatic, but said they loved receiving them at the time.”
As for their own girlfriends, the founders found the same. “Unexpectedly, each automated message we sent to our girlfriends usually sparked a small conversation. A conversation we wouldn't have had were we not to have messaged her in the first place.”
In fact, Tom and James have had enormous requests for a “SisterApp” helping women text their men.
Bros, if you want to try it out, it’s currently available for Android users, and an Apple version is coming soon.