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Parents' Guide to

Down to Lunch

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Buggy social scheduling OK, aimed at college kids.

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The app has passable functionality but lacks the sophistication of a true scheduling or chat app and has features that are meant for older teens and adults. It's definitely aimed at a very specific demographic -- college kids -- to recreate the "dorm room experience" that lets friends in close proximity spontaneously socialize. Though this has made the app explode across college campuses (and could be equally effective among high school kids), it makes it impractical for adult users. In light of that, it's odd that many of its built-in meet-up options involve adult activities such as going to bars. The app's chat and map functions work pretty well, but bugs prevent it from consistently doing simple things like adding a profile picture or connecting to Facebook. It's just not practical or fun to use unless everyone you know is using it. Also, it contains a half-hearted reward system that gives you points for pestering people to download the app but doesn't say what those points are for. Parents might also be concerned about the app collecting contact and location info. Overall, Down to Lunch is just what its creators have said it is in interviews: a quickly created, no-frills scheduling tool made by two guys in a single day that's best for college kids and adults.

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