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The Coolest iPhone App - Akinator

Updated on September 9, 2011

The Akinator Genie!

Akinator is quite possibly the coolest iPhone app, ever. How it all started was, one day my dad came up to me and told me he had an app that could guess any character (real or fictional) that I was thinking of. Now, my dad just got his iPhone a few months ago, and is always going crazy with apps he finds, so I didn't think much of it and decided to play his little game. The first person I thought of was Lady Gaga, and so decided to play with that. My dad went on to ask me several questions, kind of like the 20 questions game. After about the 8th question, lo and behold, he guessed it! Now, Lady Gaga is a fairly prominent figure in society these days so I wasn't exactly amazed, but still was a bit surprised. I decided to test it out further by picking more and more obscure characters every time... and Akinator guessed them, every time!

What Exactly is Akinator?

Akinator is a mysterious all-knowing genie, that somehow manages to guess exactly who you're thinking of by asking you a series of questions. Before becoming an app, Akinator was an online website with a similar purpose. Apparently it was really big but I somehow managed to miss it. In fact, I've tried it out on many of my friends and neither of them had heard of it before. Regardless, the iPhone app for Akinator has slowly been climbing the best selling list, and it truly deserves to do so. For the small number of questions it asks, it really manages to narrow the search down quite precisely. After hundreds of tries, I have been able to stump it a few times but that's only when I chose very obscure characters. And even then, as time goes on, Akinator will continue to increase it's database until it truly becomes all knowing! This really comes to show the power of technology though, it's actually eerie how Akinator jumps to just the right conclusions sometimes. At one point my friends and I were wondering if the mic on the iPhone somehow communicated answers to the iPhone.

So how does the Akinator work? Basically, as I've mentioned it plays a game of 20 questions with you. It will only ask you Yes or No questions, and you can respond with the following 5 options:

  • Yes
  • No
  • I Don't Know
  • Probably
  • Probably Not

You can choose a character that is either a real living person, like a celebrity or something, or a fictional character from a TV show, book, etc... You need to know enough about your character however, to answer the questions accurately, to an extent. You can get away with a few "I don't knows" and "probablys" here and there, but you need to be able to answer the questions for the most part. The questions themselves are fairly straightforward anyway so it isn't too difficult answering them. Here are a few examples of exactly the process Akinator goes through to reach it's conclusion:

Character Example 1 - Kanye West

Question
Answer
Male?
Yes
Really existed?
Yes
Dead?
No
Ever been married?
Probably Not
Actor?
No
Singer or associated with music?
Yes
Over 40?
No
In a rock band?
No
Black skin?
Yes
Long hair?
No
Associated with Young Money?
No
Rapper?
Yes
Ever been to prison?
I don't know
Fat?
No
Discovered recently
No
Made a fool of himself?
Yes
Famous for being widely disliked?
Yes
Famous for the way he dances?
Yes
I think of Kanye West (rapper)
Yes

And so on the 19th try he managed to guess Kanye West. Okay fine, Kanye West is a pretty famous person, that's something anyone would have eventually guessed right? Let's try something a little more out there. How about, Clifford the big red dog? Anyone remember reading books about him way long ago in the early grades? There was also a TV show about him that I used to watch a long time ago. Point is, this guy is completely random and fairly hard to narrow down.

Character Example 2 - Clifford

Question
Answer
Adult man?
No
Female?
No
Belongs to an animated cartoon?
Yes
Wear shoes?
No
Has fur?
Yes
A dog?
Yes
Sees ghosts?
No
Appear on Family Guy?
No
White?
No
Main character?
Yes
Gigantic?
Yes
Linked with the color red?
Yes
I think of Clifford The Big Red Dog
Yes

Really!? It guessed Clifford the Big Red Dog? If you see it's train of thought, it went through Scooby-Doo and Brian (from Family Guy) as well, and I mean, there are so many other famous dogs on TV that it could have guessed. It's accuracy is almost unreal, there must be supernatural forces at work! Okay maybe not, but it's still pretty impressive.

Is the App Worth it?

This app is actually really cool, and you won't know really how fun it is until you try it. The app sells for like $1.99 I believe, and it's worth every penny. I've played over 200 games of it and have only just now started to get bored of it. It makes a great game to play with your friends in the car, during a study break, or simply when you're bored. I also find its fun for me to play before I go to bed, or when I'm sitting on the toilet taking care of business.

Stumping Akinator is pretty hard. I've tried choosing various cartoon characters, old people from the early 1900s that no one remembers, anime characters, foreign celebrities from Bollywood, etc... It's pretty accurate for the most part, and most of the time when it's wrong its your fault for answering questions wrong. Can you stump Akinator? Try to see for yourself.

Comments

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    • profile image

      mir 4 

      5 years ago

      wow it blew me away!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      nick 

      6 years ago

      beastly game. best app i've ever gotten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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