The Transparent Screen Android app has been downloaded more than 250,000 times since we wrote about it last week, but are people actually finding it useful? I spent some time this week trying it out, and it hasn’t improved my productivity whatsoever. If anything, it’s been a mindless distraction. Sure, it’s a cool idea, but is it actually good for anything?
Listed as a productivity app on the Android Market, Sascha Affolter’s Transparent Screen app has already seen over 250,000 downloads since its release about four weeks ago. Its popularity is backed up by a 4.5-star average rating and over 1000 user reviews to date, with most people saying that they were happy with it, even if it was a little laggy. It also crashes when you try to launch your phone’s camera app, but that’s expected considering that the camera app can’t be used by another application simultaneously.
On my Motorola Atrix, it worked as advertised; I just couldn’t figure out a legitimate use for it. Walking and texting or reading at the same time? Not only is that a great way to get yourself killed, but can you effectively concentrate on what you’re reading or typing as well as the ground in front of you at the same time? And in any case, you are instinctively using your peripheral vision or looking up every few seconds anyway.
The only real-life situation where I feel that this app could come in handy is if I’m pretending not to stare at someone while texting or Facebooking. Is that the sort of thing people are really using it for, or is it in fact improving productivity for users and I’m the only one who’s not getting it? Tell us what you think in the comments.