For two bucks, you can buy an iPhone app that supposedly searches your Facebook friends' photo albums for all the beach and pool pictures buried in there. I won't judge you for wanting to see your pals in bikinis and Speedos, but I will warn you: This app's not a shortcut to sexy snapshots.
The app in question is called Badabing! — yes, the exclamation mark is part of the app's name — and it's been covered by blogs ranging from TechCrunch to Gizmodo, but, other than TechCrunch's Drew Olanoff, few folks seem to have gotten the darn thing to work. As I explained to my (far too understanding) editor, I spent a good 15 minutes of my morning intent on "exploiting my friends for softcore porn." I had no success and watched my beloved iPhone 5 crash repeatedly. Other folks, who expressed their annoyance in reviews in the Apple App Store, had similar issues. Some received empty results pages, others couldn't get past the login prompt, and so on.
In theory, the way Badabing! works is that you're prompted to log into your Facebook account and then able to pick one to five of your friends per search. Some sort of magical algorithm — likely one that checks for the amount of skin tone visible in a photo — will then produce a pile of photos that'll satisfy your craving for ... well, skin tone. There's even supposedly a way to bookmark your favorite snapshots. (You can, based on screenshots shown in the Apple App Store, also download these bookmarks with the tap of a button or share them with others.)
Again, this is all theoretical, since I can't get the app to work in order to confirm that it is indeed as creepy as advertised. I made attempts to reach the developers behind it in order to figure out what the issue is, but unfortunately none of the websites associated with Badabing! appear to be loading.
C'est la vie.
The lesson? If you need some eye candy in your life, stick to old-fashioned, manual searches. Getting a specialized app for this sort of thing can be problematic — and even when it works, it makes you just as creepy as the creators.
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First published November 6 2012, 11:11 AM