Oct. 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM ET
Every now and then, I encounter an app which leaves me utterly torn. Do I recommend this thing to other people? Or do I tell them to lock up their phones and never download something so dangerous?
Typically, I pick a third option: I share my — more often than not — awkward experience with the app and hope that folks make the right choice after reading about it.
With that in mind, let me tell you about ThrowMeApp.
ThrowMeApp, according to its developer's description, allows you to "explore a new aspect of photography" by "throw[ing] your phone into the air to take aerial pictures of you and your friends." Let's rephrase that, just to be clear: This app not only encourages, but requires you to throw your precious smartphone into the air in order to take a photo.
What could possibly go wrong?
The sample photos provided by ThrowMeApp's developer look innocent enough, of course. People are smiling and everything seems safe.
So, what the heck? I decided to download the free app to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 I've been testing.
Things are pretty simple, in theory. You open up the app, hold your phone flat in your hand with the screen facing up (which leaves the main camera facing down), tap the screen, and then gently toss your precious gadget. The app has some sort of magical software which calculates when the device is at the highest point of the throw (while the screen is still facing up and the main camera facing down) and snaps a photo.
Unfortunately, things aren't all that easy in practice.
I was quite glad that I decided to work from home on this day, because that meant I could plop down on my bed and repeatedly throw my phone into the air with the comforting knowledge that it'll safely land in a pile of pillows if I don't catch it. I, sadly, failed to account for the fact that, despite being fairly high, my ceiling might get in the way. (The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 can handle hitting a ceiling quite well, in case you're wondering.)
I didn't get any fantastic shots out of the app, even after some practice. I suspect that it has to do with the limitations of an indoor space. Perhaps throwing a phone a wee bit higher in a more dangerous space might lead to better shots. But I'm not about to test this theory, not unless someone wants to volunteer a stunt phone.
Want more tech news or interesting links? You'll get plenty of both if you keep up with Rosa Golijan, the writer of this post, by following her on Twitter, subscribing to her Facebook posts, or circling her on Google+.