Write a message, stick it in a bottle and drop it. If another user comes across your bottle, the message is theirs! Bottled Up rewards exploration and allows you to send strangers interesting or personal messages anonymously.
The idea for this app came from a university assignment asking us to turn a real-life experience into a digital one. We were given a choice of technologies to use and I picked geolocation as it was something I hadn’t explored. When put into groups my idea was not chosen as our project, so the idea was temporarily shelved. Once my mobile development skills were capable, I picked up the idea for my own project. This also allowed me to learn about push notifications – something I used to avoid to speed up my development process.
Something that has always interested me is anonymous communication between users. When writing a real message in a bottle, anonymity is an option. I wanted to replicate this within Bottled Up. Users can sign their messages, but the only requirement is that there is a message. Once written, dropping a bottle will leave it in your current location and can be discovered by other users within a 100 metre radius.
Discovery & demise
Push notifications inform users that they have come across a hidden message. Once opened, they can either “save” that message for themselves or “discard” it for others to find. Unfortunately the app was full of anonymous abuse. Despite the small amount of users, the running costs were also too high for a personal project. People that used the app used it a lot, but the user base didn’t seem to expand outside my home town. The abuse, running costs and lack of expansion led me to take the app offline. Hopefully Bottled Up will return in the near future.