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Android App Review: Anti-stress Chromotherapy

04 Feb 15

Anti-stress Chromotherapy is a fancy name for a simple idea, packaging a basic one-action app as a mental health tool.

To read the description on the app store you’d think this was quite something: “With the revolutionary concept in lighting that enables the automatic exchange and dynamic colors. There are more than 256 shades of colors to highlight your environment and impress your friends.” What you actually get, essentially, is a pretty screensaver. The screen is one flat block of colour that transitions through the spectrum automatically, so you get a few moments of green before it shifts to blue, them warms as it goes into purple, and so on. That’s really all it does. That’s chromotherapy, I guess.

I wasn’t actually sure about chromotherapy so I did a brief Google, and the Wikipedia page for it uses the word pseudoscience in its first sentence (at the bottom of the entry it says ‘See also: List of ineffective cancer treatments’). So science doesn’t think this app is much of anything, and having had it on for a while I’m not sure I do either. The changing colours are sort of pretty, in a garish way, but I don’t know how effective they are on my stress levels.

However, any soothing stress-relief I may experience is immediately cancelled when a full screen ad for ‘Heroes Charge’, an ‘EPIC PvP’ game, appears and won’t go away until I press the tiny x in the top left corner. Additionally, the app has regular banner ads popping up along the bottom offering me a first month of free electricity or Resene bedroom paint ideas. I can’t speak for anyone else but if this has any effect on my stress levels it’s not a positive one. I guess the risk of missing out on a promotional opportunity would have raised the stress of the app developers, and the app is definitely anti that.

If you think I’m being mean by suggesting that there’s maybe a possibility that this app was made with cynical, ad-revenue getting intentions, bear this in mind: the same company also makes an app called ‘Holy Bible for Woman’, which is the King James Bible with a pink colour scheme. Hmm.

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