Marco Polo – An iPhone app that finds your phone when you’ve misplaced it

Running out the door and realize that you don’t have your phone? Where did you put it? At your desk, under a pillow, did your toddler get hold of it and shove it under the couch with a half-eaten piece of cheese? Brought to my attention at MacTechSA in June, Marco Polo is an iPhone app designed to help you find your iPhone, by shouting ‘Marco’ and listening for the ‘Polo’ response.

Damage

R11.99/$0.99c in the Apple app store

What you need to know

Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is optimized for iPhone 5.

What we think you should know

marcopolo1

This app is lots of fun and I really wanted to love it. You can change the voice that responds to your ‘Marco’ call (Guiseppe and Pepe are great fun) and even change the word you use to call it, although the response will always be ‘Polo’. It works in silent mode and doesn’t require any GPS or Internet access. You allow it to access your microphone and leave the app running in the background. When you call for it, it answers you.

I wanted to test the range, placed it all over the house and started playing a game of Marco Polo with it, as one does. Unfortunately, I didn’t get very far before I was getting no response. I was using an iPhone 4S, which doesn’t have as good a microphone as the iPhone 5 models and I also found that I had to lower the pitch of my voice to get a better response – a man’s voice is much more easily picked up with this app.

So rad:

  • It’s easy and fun
  • The fact that it doesn’t require Internet connection and is a cool use of voice recognition
  • It works in silent mode
  • You can choose your ‘Polo’ voice and change the word you use to call it

Makes us sad:

  • Only available for Apple
  • A woman’s pitch is less recognised than a man’s
  • From our testing, the range is not good at all on iPhone 4 models and only works in a parameter of a few meters for iPhone 5 models.
  • You have to leave it running in the background, which means that a red toolbar displays across the top of your screen constantly and it eats battery

 

 

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