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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A tangled web we weave... » » Has "App Magic" finally arrived? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Greg Rostami
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As a magic app developer, the one criticism that I hear more than anything else is:

"I don't do app magic".

The easiest way to convert the "non-believers" is to show a good magician, performing "app magic" to an amazed and entertained audience.

I think, I can speak for all of my fellow app developers, that our top priority is to create baffling magic that can be performed on a phone.

I started creating app magic back in 2009.
The last 4 years, has been great for app magic:

David Copperfield starts his show, every night, with a magic app.
One of the few tricks that David Blaine performed in his last TV special was with a magic app.
Cyril Takayama, Dynamo, Troy, Darcy Oake and many other famous magicians have integrated magic apps into their shows.

So, if you're a "non-believer" I'm very curious about your thoughts:

Has "App Magic" finally arrived?

thank you for your time,
Greg
January
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I think that there is a certain sort of mentalist who will shy away from technology in favor of everyday items or propless routines. The thing is that phones have become everyday items, so they work fairly well. That said, I still think a certain sort of performer would be uncomfortable with using them, though I think audiences are quite comfortable with it.
Raum
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But we are not magicians.Magic apps useless in mentalism.
Nat_lawson
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I was personally against the idea of App magic until a few weeks ago, not adamantly against it but just hesitant. I recently bought a few apps and they are all incredible! I figured I always have my phone on me and everyone else always has theirs so why not use that pocket space.

Thoroughly impressed by the power magic apps have when presented correctly.
Nat_lawson
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Quote:
On Jan 20, 2017, Raum wrote:
But we are not magicians.Magic apps useless in mentalism.



I hope this is a joke. If not, buy wikitest, use it once and be proven wrong.
Raum
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Hmm. I always thought that these applications do not work with borrowed smartphone.
Yuan Moons
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I'm probably too old to start using magic apps. They do seem to be quite sophisticated these days judging by the David Blaine video that I saw.
Greg Rostami
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Quote:
On Jan 20, 2017, Raum wrote:
Hmm. I always thought that these applications do not work with borrowed smartphone.

Almost all of my apps work with borrowed smartphones.

I have made a total of 22 magic apps for iOS and Android (some for other people).

Only iForce and iTelekinect use the magician's phone.

All the others use a borrowed phone:


cheers,
Greg
Raum
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I mean without app instalation, web pages, web forms an so on. I think if spectator choose picture in google without you touching the phone and typing something in - the first effect will not work?
Greg Rostami
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Quote:
On Jan 20, 2017, Raum wrote:
I mean without app instalation, web pages, web forms an so on. I think if spectator choose picture in google without you touching the phone and typing something in - the first effect will not work?

I think if a spectator writes something down on THEIR piece of paper with THEIR pen or pencil and they don't give it to you, you won't be able to peek the information.

We can always pick apart a performance to find flaws with any effect/performance.

As long as you can motivate why they must look up some information on their phone, then you've got a winner:



G
Scott Cram
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There's a nice and simple phone trick in the February 2017 issue of Genii. No app needed, but it may only work on iPhones with Siri (maybe someone with an Android with Alexa can work out how to do it on their systems, as well.)
Tom G
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For me I'm not so sure any phone user knows what apps are capable of. In point, I was with a non-magician, when a magic buddy came up and showed him an "app effect". After the accolades, and my magic buddy left, my friend asked what the name of the app was.
Greg Rostami
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On Jan 20, 2017, Tom G wrote:
For me I'm not so sure any phone user knows what apps are capable of. In point, I was with a non-magician, when a magic buddy came up and showed him an "app effect". After the accolades, and my magic buddy left, my friend asked what the name of the app was.

Most of the modern professional magic apps do not use the magician's phone.

The spectators from all of my videos don't think that I'm using an app because I'm looking for information in Google on their phone.
My phone is never in play.

Other developers have chosen different motivations like looking up information on YouTube, Wikipedia, etc.

If the spectator was asking for the name of the app, it was either a bad performance, or the app really screamed "magic app".

Greg
Raum
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Quote:
On Jan 20, 2017, Greg Rostami wrote:
I think if a spectator writes something down on THEIR piece of paper with THEIR pen or pencil and they don't give it to you, you won't be able to peek the information.

Some methods allow this. These methods do not look suspiciously like magic with your phone. Still do not believe that the magical applications useful in mentalism. I think that for the spectator it is the simplest explanation. How did he reads minds? He simply uses a clever electronics.
Amirá
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Although I prefer (for my own convenience) methods that doesn't rely on apps, I have seen and used personally iF0rce and other creations from Greg and they are pure quality.

For Mentalism with phones the same philosophy from any routines is relevant: "It is not what I do or what I use, rather HOW I do it and WHY" and because we are using an object that has inherent qualities of quick function and electronic nature, we need to have this thought in mind in a more focused manner.

For that reason I don't like the concept "App Magic". It is not the "app" that has the "magic", but it is a tool that allows you to create an magical and mysterious performance piece with a phone.
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Cervier
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My two main worries about using apps are:

- a lot of what I've seen looks too "magiccy" IMO,

- very often, if not all of the time, the spectator thinks it's some kind of app. Even if it wasn't. But the mere fact an electronic device, specialized in transmitting data, comes into play, such explanations pop up in the mind of people.

I spent a lot of time with a magician friend, doing walk-around in fairs. He just loves to do magic with his iPhone, feels it's "modern" magic, etc. Sometimes he doesn't care that the use of an app is obvious, like when a spider appears on the screen. On other occasions, it would be better that spectators didn't guess the method, for instance like when he has one freely name a card then shows he has a picture of himself with a famous magician holding a card --the chosen one! That effect is very strong, but I did hear some spectators say it was an app. Their hypothesis were far fetched, but you know that doesn't matter: they thought they had at least a rough idea of the method.


That said:

- I did see some (most?) people get blown away by that last effect. I didn't like the presentation my friend did (just that "name a card... here it is on this picture, wow!") but I can't argue with the fact it did produce strong reactions.

- I also saw him do "stuff" with some spectators' own phone, like unlocking it, or guessing what song from their playlist they had randomly stopped on... People loved it. I didn't always stick around to eavesdrop so I can't tell you whether they talked about an app or not, but it sure made me think...

- Last week a friend of mine, who's professionnal mentalist, demonstrated "Inject" to me and it looked very exciting!


Conclusion

I'm sort of between two minds...

(+)
- some apps look like they can be powerful and still go "under the radar"
- it's "props" you always have with you

(-)
- it's electronics, it's "science magic" and people can often think the phone is where the "magic" came from.
- it's electronics, radiowaves and electricity. More reliable these days than it used to bet, but still, for a "long" show (e.g. on stage) I'd rather rely on "low tech can't fail" props, and I know alrady more strong effects of that kind than I will ever perform.

I'll keep an open mlnd on that topic, I'll let others experiment and see what happens... Smile
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Waters.
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I think that app functions are getting close to providing wonders that do not make it seem that the phone is the magician. But the overwhelming majority have not. I think it is easy to be in denial about static versus dynamic items. Effects that use screens as the denouement are inherently weaker than those that do not. People know screens can be made to do anything. Intrigue yes, genuine wonder, no.

However, there are a couple not note that bring this entire genre to a place worth performing.
Follow the link...
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Philemon Vanderbeck
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IForce was one of the first magic apps that I bought and it still holds a special place in the area where my heart used to be.

If you use it as a notepad for several effects, it becomes fairly ordinary in the participant's perspective, so when you finally take advantage of its special ability, it raises little suspicion.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
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jstreiff
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It would seem that introducing apps for reveals would be sensible. If audience members seek information online, why not use that mechanism to validate outcomes?

I too am not using apps now principally for the reasons stated: need for installation and suspicion of technology as a method. All that said, it would not surprise me if some enterprising entertainer will show us all 'the way' soon if not already.
John
Greg Rostami
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Quote:
On Jan 21, 2017, jstreiff wrote:
I too am not using apps now principally for the reasons stated: need for installation and suspicion of technology as a method. All that said, it would not surprise me if some enterprising entertainer will show us all 'the way' soon if not already.


You don't install anything on the spectator's phone.

Here's a performance of my Inject app in Vegas:



There are many other stage magicians that use app magic, every night, in their shows in a variety of clever ways.

Greg
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