Have you ever been in, let’s say a discotheque, and gotten caught in a whirl of names, numbers and faces that you just can’t keep straight? Happens all the time.
Luckily, NumberSnap just became available for Android on Google Play. The premise of NumberSnap is that sometimes, you just can’t remember what your new friend from the night before looks like. Because reasons. But, with NumberSnap installed, whenever someone enters contact information into your phone, the app instantly takes a picture from the front-end camera.
NumberSnap’s promo copy explains that this eliminates the need to painstakingly go through all your numbers and assign display pictures. Personally I don’t even bother assigning pictures, assuming that I remember the faces of most of my important contacts. On top of that, I doubt any of my friends would enjoy an unsuspecting and unflattering snapshot of them coming up every time they called. So let’s call it what it is: A sneaky way to snap a photo when you aren’t sure what or who you’ll remember the next morning.
That being said, NumberSnap isn’t exactly discreet. Your new contacts will see a message informing them that their picture is about to be taken, followed up with a similar text from your phone. These settings can be turned off with “stealth mode.” Creepy.
The other problem is that NumberSnap doesn’t work in conjunction with the Android contact forms, but requires opening a whole other page (as shown below). So while your new contact might be tipped off by the fact that NumberSnap’s logo is right above their name and number, here’s to hoping he or she will be just as bad with details, faces and, you know, overall memory.
You also just might end up with a bunch of contacts looking exactly like you, considering how often people input new numbers themselves. And, although you would probably get really good at posing for quick pictures, its not very helpful for networking or keeping track of contacts.
As a frequent observer (and sometimes participant) of people discreetly snapping pictures of others, there is an alternative to NumberSnap: the tried and true Fake-Snapchat-Selfie move. For those who have never used this, hold up your phone as if taking a selfie, presumably to send on Snapchat. Meanwhile, the engaged camera is actually on the back of the phone, snapping a shot of your unsuspecting subject. It’s simple, effective and free. It’s also handy if you aren’t slick enough to actually get someone’s number, but want a picture anyways.
The Fake Snapchat Selfie require a bit more positioning and effort than installing an app. You also run the risk of forgetting to turn off your camera flash, at which point it can turn a tad uncomfortable for everyone. So then again, it might be better to just cough up the $1 for NumberSnap.
So if you’ve “ever gotten a person’s phone number and forgotten what they look like the morning after,” or “found taking contact display pictures awkward,” it might be worth a shot. Use it as you will.