You know, if you're one of the tech-savvy, twentyten-compatible folk who own a smartphone, you know that your lifestyle device says a whole lot about you. We discussed the concept that the ringtones you choose tend to make personality observations that ring true obvious to third party listeners, (for example, just by hearing my various notification alerts, you would know that I like NFL football and still have faint fantasies of being a Power Ranger by the time I got a phone call and received a text) but this goes deeper than the auditorially superficial...this is the science of deducing things about a person by a new method I'm calling appstrology.
Appstrology is pretty simple. In case you don't have one (tsk to the third power), most smartphones have programs called apps which perform specific functions and expand the utility of the device. (My set, Team Droid, has a vast library of free apps, but some like the evil iPhone require you pay by the app...suckers...) These apps do anything from play MP3s to keep track of one's bank statements to find the nearest sports bar showing your game in under 30 seconds...even turn your electric sidekick into a sex toy if you're into phone sex. (Seriously...there's an app for that, "Vibrator"...just make sure if you really use it you don't...uh...pocket dial...)
Truly, these apps tailor the device to the exact needs and wants of it's owner...and is thus a very good resource to find out about someone. Access to someone's apps can tell you more about a person in 5 minutes than he could tell you in 5 weeks...I estimate it's more accurate than any other personality test, because one fills it out for their own purposes and theirs alone, ensuring the most authentic results possible. Let's take me for example...what could you find out about me using pure appstrology? What if...somebody found my phone?
Well, for starters if somebody found my phone and didn't know the password, the post about it might end right here. However, it's no fun if it ends there...let's pretend the finder discovers my phone unlocked and ready for spelunking. The first thing they'll see is that I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan...my background makes that obvious. (Hopefully Finder ain't an Eagles fan, or my poor G1 will end up as chunks of plastic in a sewer without me there to send him after it, also in chunks.) Next, he'd probably go for the contacts...since everyone has a nickname, he wouldn't get much out of that. (Neither will anybody else who gets ahold of my my phone...or maybe yours...*wink wink, nudge nudge*)
Then they'll open the home screen and see the most used apps. He'll see Chomp, a fancy text app with a quintillion customization options, this will tell him I send enough texts to even care what they look like (a lot). He'll see Gmail, Browser, YouTube, and Facebook apps letting him know that I'm pretty active online and do a lot of my internetting on the move. (At one point, just having the Facebook app would have told him I was college-age, but now that could be anybody from 9-90...) The battery life display that looks like a beer glass, bar finder, and blood alcohol content calculator would say I'm probably a pretty heavy drinker. (If he was really good, he would look at my texts and notice how my spelling gets worse as most nights go on and confirm this.)
After seeing my Silent Camera app (no shutter noise...yay!) attention to detail and a small leap of faith would tell him that I sometimes take pictures that I don't exactly ask permission for (you guys know that as "Camera Phone Ninja"). He would probably then go into my Picture Gallery app hoping to see nekkid chicks...he wouldn't, unless he knew how to use the other app that I'm not gonna type the name of for obvious reasons that lets me hide certain pictures, keeping all those dirty little secrets secret. (So feel free to send me those freaky pics with the knowledge that your freakcret is safe with me :p)
Maybe then he would open my notes app, Catch and see all my umf seeds. (All these posts start as a short observation or idea...this one started as "if somebody found phone".) It would probably be the part that would be very telling if someone knew what they were looking for, but luckily indecipherable to strangers...hell, some folk I know can't decipher me in full sentences. After he got sick of looking at short nonsense phrases, he might go back to the Home Screen and check out other random apps. SportsTap score feed would remind him I'm a sports junkie, Police Scanner would let him know I either am a cop or trying to avoid them, RoMote would tell him I have a Roku and the ability to control it with my phone, and if he were to open the AndroBlogger app, he would know I run a site called (undermyfitted...) and maybe become a new reader. (Yeah, right...)
The Fildo app right near it, if opened, would show that I enjoy free music...uh, ringtones...and can download them right to my phone. If he were to look through my music, he would see everything from Jay-Z and T.I. to the Hives and Green Day. After a few songs, he'd see that the music player kills the battery and should be used sparingly. (Seriously, can we get that shit fixed?) Calculator would tell him I hate math and need one at hand at all times, Coin Flip would show my indecisive side, Lightsaber may tell him that I'm a big kid, and Movies would let him see my Netflix queue (itself almost as individual as a fingerprint).
Just as the WeatherBug app was both letting him know I lived in West Philly somewhere and cared about the weather, he would then accidentally discover another app, Mobile Defense. It's like LoJack for smartphones...it uses owner controlled GPS activated from a desktop computer to determine the location of a lost phone and give directions to it, which is why he only discovered this app when I walked up to him, thanked him for finding my mobile lifestation and asked for it back. He would...but not before he knew me better than some of my friends...and all because he looked through my phone. Ah, the power of appstrology.