Apple has a “Find Your Friends App” but now there is an alternative for others less inclined to share their whereabouts. Now comes an iPhone app that enables you to avoid your frenemies who use Instagram and Foursquare.
Described as “incognito mode for real life” and the “antisocial network”, Cloak scrapes location data from Foursquare and Instagram to alert you when both friends and people you’d rather avoid are nearby. Of course if you really want to avoid certain people, the app will only work if those “friends” share their location on an Instagram photo or checks into a location through Foursquare.
Available as a free download on iTunes for devices using iOS 7.0 or later, Cloak allows you to flag individual friends or if you're really anti-social - everyone and can select from four distance settings ranging from within a block to within two miles.
While this app can be helpful, it won’t work with other social media apps although developers Brian Moore and Chris Baker say they’ll adding more social media networks and features. They also say they're working on including Facebook, but point out Twitter may not be an option because “the location data just isn’t there. Most users have it turned off and even when it’s on, it’s vague”. However, they make an added effort to encourage users to use Foursquare or “make a dummy Instagram account to follow people you don’t want in your actual feed”.
Despite receiving quite a bit of publicity from the likes of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Kimmel, CNN, NPR and the Wall Street Journal, current user reviews only average three our of five stars. This is due because the vast majority of less than stellar reviews all share a similar gripe – Cloak only works with Instagram and Foursquare. Others were more supportive, such as “still a new app so I won’t be critical” and perhaps most telling of all – “this app is PERFECT for my anti-social lifestyle!” But Alexis Kleinman of Huffpost Tech correctly suggests the app can also be used for people to "casually run into friends" - not exactly a welcome thought.
For those hoping to enhance their anti-social lifestyle, this app is for you, as long as you and your frenemies both use Instagram and/or Foursquare. In the meantime, others hoping to see Facebook added will just have to wait and see.