The iconic iPhone gay social networking app Grindr is to launch on the Android platform imminently, PinkNews.co.uk can reveal after obtaining a leaked final test version of Grindr for Android. It is understood that the the app is intended to go live within the Google Android Market in next few days.

Grindr has more than 1.65 million regular users in 180 countries worldwide, with London being the app’s most popular city.

The application is essentially a hyper local dating service, listing 100 gay guys together with their photographs by their distance in metres from the user.

Although the service has been on the iPhone for two years, it has been absent from the Google led Android mobile platform. There are now more Android users than Apple iPhone owners. Many of Grindr’s competitors including the granddaddy of gay networking Gaydar are already on the Android platform and have gained market share.

PinkNews.co.uk obtained a beta version of the Android application and has been told by sources at Grindr that a live version will go live in the Android Marketplace “imminently”. A Grindr source told PinkNews.co.uk that the app was being launched after “tremendous demand” from users.

Grindr’s iconic status was partly gained after Britain’s most famous technophile Stepher Fry did more than just mention Grindr on Top Gear. He effectively hijacked the BBC motoring programme, with an estimated global syndicated audience of 350 million viewers, for a minute and a half as he explained Grindr’s intricacies to host Jeremy Clarkson and tried to find another Grindr user in the studio audience.

Some have criticised Grindr for promoting sexual promiscuity as the service can be used, should the user wish to find sexual partners with relative ease. Others have warned about personal safety, Daniel Gomez, Community Engagement Manager at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation said: “Programmes like Grindr are the new ‘Gay Bar’ of the millennium. But a word of caution…use common sense when meeting up with men from the internet. We sometimes forget that it doesn’t always do what it says it does on the tin! I think sometimes it’s easy to forget, that not everyone has the same intentions you do when looking to meet men online”.

But in an interview with PinkNews.co.uk last month, Mr Simkhai said: “As a company we employ moderators to monitor content, but Grindr users are no more vetted than the ones you meet in bars or clubs. Do we encourage promiscuity? Not at all, the platform we provide is neutral in that sense. We simply make it easier to meet people, be that for friendship, dating or otherwise. We’ve even had a Grindr user get help to fix his broken down car using our app.”

The company has already said it is planning to launch a version of Grindr for lesbians as well as straight people. It has publicly said it is working on an Android application.

Grindr did not comment on the leak when PinkNews.co.uk went to publication.