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Follow Your Friends With Banjo for Android

Updated on July 25, 2012

We've made it, the ultimate stalker application for your smartphone. About a month Banjo appeared on the home page of the play store and I thought that I would give it a try. At first it was a little difficult to figure out what exactly it is since the name does not reveal anything about it.

Are location apps creepy?

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Design:

we'll start with the design of this app. The color scheme chosen is very attractive, too many apps have been using that Facebook blue, its nice to have app icons in different colors on my home screen. Banjo took the list icon from the facebook mobile app. At the top left of the screen is a square with three bars indicating the menu. The only design flaw that I see is that there is no real home page for the app. You can look at the map, or list of where your friends are but there is no home page that it takes you to when you first open the app. If I were to request one fix it would be to like every other social networking app out there have a single page that I can go to, to see all the notifications and not have to open a whole new page to see anything.

Function:

This is where the app gets creepy. Every user on the app has the option to either keep their location hidden or public. The purpose behind this apps creation was so that when you and a friend become within a certain number of miles/KM of each other your phones would send you a notification that you are close together and maybe you would like to meet up. Now this is clever, but I find that most of my friends and I have facebook or foursquare so why would we need an app like this one? Well what if you want to me total strangers? In that case this app is very useful.

Usefulness:

I do not have very many friends on this app, so when I open the map I get a whole slew of strangers coming up all over the map. They did have a clever idea to differentiate between who your friends are and who everyone else is (friends are orange and everyone else is aqua). As of now there is no option to hid everyone else and only see your friends. I think that an option like this would be very useful.

Final Thoughts:

I don't think that I will be using this app. There are still too many issues with security and I don't trust it just yet. Also I do not have any friends using it, so unless you have a lot of friends on the network there really is no use for it except stalking complete strangers. Maybe if it had the option to hide people you don't know, or if it worked like the facebook friend suggestions. The only others to show up on the map were people who you have one or more friends in common. Would make them a lot less random and more relevant making it a much more useful app.

There are also a few apps out there already that work like this. Apple created a Find My Friends app for free in the app store. I have not had the chance to check it out yet but I'll be sure to check it out soon.

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