If the idea of throwing an expensive piece of consumer electronics up in the air and watching it spin around makes your palms clammy with sweat then this app is definitely not for you. You have been warned.
Indeed, Apple won’t allow the app — a game called Gyro Skate — into iOS’s walled garden, because of the apparent risk of encouraging people to trash their i-devices. Its App Store guidelines frown on such irreverent behavior. So it’s Android only for now, and probably forevermore.
So what is Gyro Skate? As its name suggests, the app uses the hardware gyroscope built into smartphones to power a skateboard game which scores the phone owner’s trick skills — performed by, yes, tossing the phone itself up in the air so it flips or spins a certain number of times or in a particular direction. And then catching it in a perfect landing. Or not…
To be fair, the app makers — a German programmer and graphic designer duo who build apps in their spare time — have included a big disclaimer before you can play the game, telling users to hold their phone over a padded surface like a bed. But where’s the adrenaline rush in that, eh?
Being as it’s reliant on sensitive gyroscope hardware, Gyro Skate only works with a subset of Android devices that contain actual physical gyro hardware, so older phones may not play nice. Those with incompatible hardware will find the app can’t register tricks properly so successful flips will go unjudged. But you can still stand there flipping your phone into the unquantified analogue void, as it were.
The developers have made a free demo version of the app so Android users can test out whether the game works before they shell out £1.51 for the full version. The latter supports right or left-handed throwers, has four stages and 32 tricks in all — each with a video demo showing how to perform the perfect kickflip or varial heelflip or fs shuvit or whatever.
Developer Edi Held says they’re not sure exactly which Android devices are compatible yet — although, ironically enough, he notes the game would work fine with all iOS devices since the iPhone 4. But you’d have to jailbreak your iPhone to run it. Natch.
It’s confirmed to work properly on the Google Nexus 5 but not on the HTC One. An LG G3 also did not play nice. Plus its shiny back made catching the phone about as easy as trying to hold an eel still. Or it could just be that my skateboarding skills suck.
The duo have made a demo video showing the app running on an iPhone — being as iOS was the original platform they developed on — embedded into a wheel-less skateboard ridden on a trampoline. Because, well, the Internets.