I only recently discovered this app. Called Rando, probably short for random, the concept behind this app is more than meets the eye; in fact, it can make you feel a lot more charmed than you might expect it to at first.
The idea behind Rando is terribly creative. It works on the fundamental principle of social connectivity in the digital age: to get in touch with new people. In case of Rando, though, you get in touch with their photographs.
You click a photograph, circularly cropped, and send it to a random person: the sender has no idea who gets it, the receiver has no idea who sent it. And soon after you send a photograph (called a rando) you receive one yourself.
The app itself
Rando is no different: it is very minimal, works smoothly and is pretty quick. I almost always receive my return randos within half-a-minute of sending mine. Also, if the user has allowed it, you can see which part of the world your return rando was sent from. This is usually the country/region and nothing more specific; but it is fun nonetheless.
Security and misuse concerns
In an app such as this, users are bound to have security concerns. Privacy is protected, no doubt, but here are some interesting features the developers have implemented:
1. Rando has no access to your gallery; this means you have to click the picture when you want to send it. This also assures you that the return rando you receive was clicked somewhere within the last couple of minutes — about the same time as when you were clicking yours!
2. You can report a rando if you feel something is wrong with it (including NSFW content, no photograph — it happened to me once; I received a blank solid colour photograph — or any other reason you may have for it) without having to mention the reason. Most likely a real person will review it.
3. You can block somebody. If you are not tolerant enough, or if you feel simply reporting a person is not enough, you can entirely block them.
Simply put, Rando is a fine little app that can lift your spirits and put a smile on your face every time you receive a rando — more so if it is a good photograph.
A funny thing I have observed is that Rando users seem to be predominantly South Korean. While I like to think that gives me great potential of receiving a leaked Galaxy Note III or Nexus picture, it would be even more fun to have people from around to world chiming in.
Camera control is poor when shooting a rando. In fact it is entirely absent. You cannot zoom, flash, change ISO, white balance or practically anything else. I am happy that no filters are allowed — at last we get to see images as they are, not made fake-beautiful by random filters to get an impression of being a good photographer.
In its current statement, Rando does what it does beautifully. There is little else to ask of it and I’ve steadily grown to enjoy it more than Draw Something or Words with Friends or any of ustwo’s own apps. If you have note tried Rando, you should. Download it by simply clicking the button below.
Until I come across another app worth an article of its own, keep sending Randos around; who knows, I might just end up with one of yours. [vhb]