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Remember those Fourth of July sparklers you could wave in the air, so bright in the darkness they'd leave a hovering trail of light? Shake Banner works along the same lines. Jostle your iPhone about a bit and the colored letters of your short message will seem to hang in the air.
Nailing speed, distance, and consistency takes some practice, but preparing your message is easy.
The interface for entering whatever pearls of wisdom you want to share with nearby eyes is quick and easy. Tap in some text, pick a color, and shake away. Don't get too excited, though: Shake Banner is only truly effective under very specific conditions. Even after manually turning up display brightness, the visual trickery only works well in darkened environments. A dimly lit movie theater or concert hall might work; a brightly lit meeting room almost certainly won't.
As you shake your iPhone, fragments of words strobe across the display.
Shake Banner won't adjust its strobing display of text fragments to your manner of waving, either. Between shakes, three dial meters inform you how closely the speed, distance, and consistency of your wiggling match what the app considers ideal. That's certainly helpful, but it nevertheless took us a good 10 minutes of practice in front of a darkened bathroom's mirror to get readable results with any consistency.
A helpful page of usage tips will save you some time, but we would've preferred the app adjust its behavior to accommodate a range of movement styles.
Also note that while the App Store description rattles off features like font styles, random colors, background effects, and so forth, those options are only accessible if you purchase the "advanced" upgrade for $2.99.
The "advanced" button won't give you access to anything unless you drop $2.99 on an optional upgrade.
The bottom line. Forcing people to squint and peer at your waving hand to get your point across isn't likely to win you an army of new fans, but Shake Banner still offers enough simple-minded amusement to be worth a bit of idle noodling, especially since the basic version is free.
iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4.0 or later.
A fun and offbeat way to get your message across. Simple text entry and color selection interface. Helpful meters and a tips page teach you to wave in just the right way.
Demands a darkened room and maximum display brightness to be effective. Does not adjust to your waving style, and so requires significant practice time. Not all advertised functionality is actually free.