Choice Compass is an Android app that helps you make decisions based on what you're heart is feeling, it does this by using the camera on your Android smartphone to analyze heart rhythms. By capturing your heartbeats using the camera, Choice Compass comes to a conclusion by analyzing where your heart is leading. The app allows you to pit two choices against each other in an either/or sort of situation. Whether or not you ask the app silly questions or more life-changing questions is up to you however, as with anything even remotely scientific it's well worth repeating the process a number of times for each decision to make sure you have the best result from your smartphone.
Just like other Android apps, you'll need to download Choice Compass from the Google Play Store and then you can go ahead and get started. While you don't need to sign up to anything, you will be asked to input a nickname and your gender, which helps determine the right sort of rhythms.
There's a step-by-step tutorial that takes you through the process of how to use Choice Compass, but really if you just keep your finger pressed firmly against your smartphone you'll be fine.
During the practice run, you'll get used to the sort of pressure the app is looking for, and when the app doesn't get the right sort of readout from your device then the app will let you know about it. Sadly, I came across a lot of this with Choice Compass even though I was staying still with my finger covering the lens.
In order to use Choice Compass to help you make decisions, you need to enter two either/or choices for the app to work with.
Sadly, you can't really write much in these boxes as it cuts you off pretty quickly, but I was able to pose a decision on whether or not I should write for an Apple site or keep writing about Android (this is a hypothetical of course). Choice Compass then fires up the camera monitoring software and asks you to focus on the outcomes while you keep your hand steady against the camera.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, my heart and mind worked together to come to the conclusion that I should keep on writing for Android. I'm then given a score of how Choice Compass came to this conclusion and then offered the chance to share this result with the world.
There was a pretty big swing towards Android here, which is what I'd have expected, after all I don't relish joining the ranks of Apple supporters all that much.
After spending a little time with Choice Compass I was both impressed and mildly underwhelmed. I was impressed in the fact I could see the heartbeat monitoring was actually working, pressing your finger against your phone (you need to remove the case to get the best results) long enough and you can almost feel your pulse in your fingertip. The result that was put to me seemed to make a lot of sense, and I wouldn't hesitate to use this again in the future for a little bit of fun or as a more scientific roll of the dice sort of thing. I was underwhelmed however by the poor monitoring consistency. More than half a dozen times I was asked to readjust my pressure on the smartphone's camera and subsequently see the test fail. This was genuinely quite infuriating as many times I hadn't even moved an inch. Of course, over time this did get better, but it's still very inconsistent and frustrating. I can tell a lot of research went into Choice Compass and I'm sure that others who try it will be surprised by it as well.
- Speed (4/5) – Choice Compass runs just fine, but to wait a minute for each result might put some impatient folk off.
- Features (4/5) – I'm no scientist so I can't say for certain how accurate this app really is, but I didn't feel like Choice Compass was hokum or anything and there's a lot of research behind it. As with most things in life, you get out what you put in with Choice Compass.
- Theme (3.5/5) – Overall, Choice Compass feels a little dated, the look and feel of the app remind me of older Android apps and with Android 5.0 Lollipop and Material Design on nearly 50% of devices this needs a fresh coat of paint.
- Overall (4/5) – It won't be for everyone, and it could do with an updated look and feel, but if you want something to help you make up your mind that's better than a magic 8 ball, then Choice Compass isn't a bad bet.
- Whittles choices down to either/or which helps clean up the thought process quite a bit.
- Doesn't get too bogged down in the science, it just lets users get on with making up their minds.
- Gives you a definite score between the two outcomes, further helping people make a decision.
- Interface is nice and straightforward.
- Too often Choice Compass failed to take an adequate reading when I would stay still and remain steady, however this does improve over time.
- With many devices running Android 5.0 these days, this app needs a fresh coat of paint to feel modern and fresh.
All-in-all, Choice Compass does provide you with an interesting way of making up your mind. The science is definitely here, with hundreds of individual test subjects help to form an idea of what a positive and negative heartbeat looks like to the camera. With lots of research having gone into the app, it's no wonder it discovered my true intentions quickly. Besides, focusing on different outcomes will definitely have an effect on your heart rate. Worth checking out, if even for fun, our major complaint is that it's fairly expensive and there's no free version on offer.