If your family frequently has issues with deciding who will lead the Thanksgiving blessing before the big feast, YouPray, one of the simplest apps ever to hit the Play Store, is here to help. The app opens up to a splash screen that explains the instructions, and it really couldn’t be simpler. The app is, essentially, just a spinner. You place your phone on the table, then hit the spin button, and whoever the hands are pointing at when they stop spinning will be the one to lay down the Thanksgiving #blessification. That’s really it. No configuration, no customization, no fancy flourishes except for an angelic choir heralding the spinning of the set of praying hands.
Background: This is one of those apps in the Play Store that’s utterly devoid of extra features and fluff, and has far too simple a premise to really tack on anything meaningful anyway. You get one set of praying hands, a splash screen, and the YouPray logo across the top. That’s it. You gather around the phone running the app, press the button, and let your deity of choice hear from whoever the spinner points to. You can hit the button repeatedly to make the spinner go way too fast and blur in weird ways, but that’s about it for extra features and things you can do outside of the core function. You can’t change any settings, and you can’t back out to the splash screen once you’re on the spinner screen. While it could be argued that the app is too simple, or that there are better ways of figuring out who’s going to lead grace at the table, you can’t say that this app doesn’t serve its purpose. It does so with a beautiful sort of raw minimalism that even Google has caught onto lately, saving users from their phones and redirecting them to family time and chatting with their creator before they even get a chance to get drawn in.
Impact: Just how impactful you’ll personally consider this app to be will all depend on how big of an issue this sort of thing is for your family each year. While the app has freshly hit the Play Store just in time for Thanksgiving, you can use it at every meal, if you’re a member of a praying family. Rather than a random number generator, the app is driven by simulated physics, making it quite similar to using a real spinner and inherently random, thus stifling any potential cries of unfairness. YouPray is not a way to reconnect if you’ve backslidden from your god. It’s not an app that’s going to revolutionize your life, it’s not here to save the world, and it’s not even interested in entertaining you. The sole purpose of this app is to skip the awkward silence and the arguing that can accompany the time-honored mealtime ritual of praying over your food as a family, but to its target user base, skipping the drama and getting them and their families digging into their Thanksgiving grub that much quicker and easier is a wonderful thing indeed.