Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Android Prank App reviews

Looking to use your Android phone to get more productive? Then these are not the reviews for you. I've reviewed a few apps that will let you play some practical jokes on your friends. 

Prank - U Broke My Screen! / Droid Smash!

Price: $0.99

The setup: You tell your friend you've found this addictive new game for your phone, so you hand over your phone so they can play it. They tap the phone several times, and then all the sudden, the screen is broken!

Review: Image looks real but isn't full-screen on a Droid. The app disables the Back, Menu and Search buttons. Home button brings up an app chooser list: is that because I have ADW Launcher installed, or what?

Rating: 3 stars


Price: Free

The setup: You sneak up behind your friend and fool them into thinking you're taking an electric razor to their head.

Review: App has a picture of a razor with a spring-loaded switch - when you press the button the phone vibrates and makes a buzzing sound, when you release the button it stops. Points for style, but for ease of use it would be best to let you press anywhere on the screen. I don't think my phone's vibrator is strong enough to fool anybody into thinking it's a razor, though. But if you prep for this prank by making someone think you're going to get them  and shave their head when they least expect it, I think it will do the trick.

Rating: 3 stars

Smell Scanner

Price: Free (ads)

The setup: You tell your friends your phone has a smell scanner, then wave it around over their body until it detects some stinky odors.

Review: If your friends think there's a smell sensor in your phone, they're gullible indeed. This app basically [pretends to] work as advertised, but it's obnoxious that you're forced to look at ads before and after you run the app.

Rating: 1 star

Christmas Naughty or Nice

Price: $0.99

The setup: Your phone can detect if someone's naughty or nice

Review: I wouldn't call this a prank app exactly, but I can see it being mildly entertaining for young kids. Would be better if the "full body scanner" actually used the phone's camera to show a picture of who it's scanning. The fingerprint scanner gives your phone a quick buzz to let you know when it detects your finger on the screen. Relevant for the holidays, but the app doesn't really do much.

Rating: 2 stars

TSA X-Ray Scanner

Price: $0.99

The setup: You tell your friends the TSA made a mobile airport security backscatter imaging app, and a hacker friend broke into their systems and got a copy. Input some settings, point the phone at your friend, it takes a picture then "processes" it into a backscatter X-ray image.

Review: One of the more convincing prank apps I've seen so far, as long as your friend's body type matches one of the available options. The backscatter image isn't *too* revealing, but then, who would expect a handheld device to work as well as the big machines at the airport? Now if the backscatter image revealed something embarrassing/funny, or you could email the backscatter image to your friend, that would certainly be a great addition.

Rating: 4 stars

Caller ID Faker

Price: Free (audio ads)

The setup: Your friend receives a call from the Whitehouse switchboard. Or the phone company. Or his mom. Or at least, that's what the caller ID says on his end...

Review:  This app gives you access to a service that will spoof your caller ID to whatever number you want to appear on your friend's phone. Enter your friends number, the caller ID to spoof, then sit through a few audio ads before you're connected to your friend. The app requires a lot of permissions to install (and asks for your email address too), but promises that they don't share your personal info.

Rating: 4 stars