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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » APPealing or APPalling? » » Cipher Pro by Shameer Salim (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Surprised this hasn't come up here yet, but Ellusionist has released an all-new version of Cipher called Cipher Pro. To be clear, this is a completely different app from the original Cipher, built from the ground up by Shameer Salim. I'm guessing this is partly due to Lloyd Barnes having left Ellusionist, but that's just a guess.

The basic functionality is still the same as the original Cipher, but this is a native iOS or Android app (I guess theoretically that means it could also run on Amazon Fire tablets). You buy it directly in the app store rather than bookmarking and activating a web app. It adds some nice additional features. Since it's a native app, it can take advantage of push notifications. If you have a smart watch, you can get your p**k without ever touching the phone. It can connect with Shameer's Hydra app and also has a new ACAAN setting. If you don't already have Cipher, it's a really great tool for pin divinations, t**ic !@#$es, star sign reveals, and more.

However, I will continue to use the original Cipher as long as it is usable. Why? The bookmark looks identical to my actual calculator app. Cipher Pro, on the other hand, is labeled Cipher and has its own icon. One of my favorite convincers for the original Cipher was to ask the spectator to open the app themselves. With Cipher Pro, that's not possible. Moreover, if the user swipes up/presses the home button, they'll see it's definitely not the calculator.

To be fair, they do give instructions for adding an iOS shortcut which can be labeled and given the calculator icon. However, Shortcuts also display really annoying notifications that need a vague workaround to turn off (and Apple could fix that workaround at any time).

It also doesn't have the right feel. There are certain subtleties to the way the Apple calculator works. For example, the button highlights fade after you tap them, versus on Cipher Pro it's just an on/off highlight. The AC button should change to C when you start doing calculations, but that doesn't happen in Cipher Pro. And yet, the original Cipher acted exactly the same as the real deal. I can't tell you how many times I've accidentally opened Cipher instead of the calculator and only realized it a couple of calculations in. Even if I look at the list of all of my open apps, I cannot tell it and my calculator apart.

And yes, I know that with audience management most people won't notice the differences or discrepancies. However, that doesn't stop this one aspect from feeling like a step back.

I think the app is off to a solid start and Shameer clearly put a lot of effort into it, but it needs polish before I use it regularly. If you have the original, the newer functions are not worth a $40 upgrade. If you don't have the original, then it's probably worth it (especially if you already have Hydra).
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