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What parents need to know
What's it about?
RANDONAUTICA generates random coordinates and encourages users to go out and explore. Its interface resembles that of a text thread. Upon launch, the app shares links to third-party platforms where users can find more information. The app offers a link to YouTube where users can view a clip that explains what Randonautica is all about and a link to i.redd.it to view "The 9 Tenets of the Randonauts." It also displays direct links to the Randonautica community on Twitter and Reddit, encouraging users to engage in discussion and share their experiences.
To start, GPS needs to be enabled on the device. Users then tap on the globe image to send current location. They'll also have the option of sharing their location by sending a Google Maps URL. When searching, users are asked to choose whether they want an Attractor, a Void, or an Anomaly. According to the app, Attractors are "dense clusters of random points. Voids are the opposite. Anomalies are the strongest out of Attractors and Voids." At this point, users are encouraged to set an intention or have a purpose in mind. This energy is meant to inform the random coordinates. After getting the random coordinates, you can view them through four different Google options: what3words, Maps, Street View, and Earth. Opening Maps gives users directions on how to get to the set location. It's entirely up to the individual user to physically explore the location set by Randonautica. It does offer tips on respecting boundaries and enjoying the app with safety in mind. After visiting the coordinates, the app gives users the option to make a trip report, asking a set of questions and giving the option to answer by tapping on pre-generated responses or the option to type a response. For a more tailored experience, the app offers radius options of 1,000, 3,000, 5,000, and 10,000 meters. In-app purchase options are available to extend radius further and avoid routes with water.
Is it any good?
This unique idea is not so much about interacting through a screen but instead actively promotes exploring local surroundings; however, teens should use it with caution. The app itself is designed to be intuitive and feels like texting. It provides clear prompts for users to follow. Sharing location, acquiring coordinates, and accessing Google Maps for directions is quite simple, but other aspects of the app aren't as easy to navigate. Since the app doesn't provide directions, users may need to look elsewhere in order to figure out how to change setting options, adjust radius, and access other features.
Although Randonautica encourages curiosity, mindfulness, respect, and overall positive vibes, users should be aware that sometimes theory and practice don't align. To enjoy this randomized experience, it's important to have realistic expectations and use with caution. When choosing to explore a set of coordinates, users assume the risk of setting off to an unknown place. The coordinates may well be on private property or require individuals to journey through unpaved roads, poor lighting, or other conditions that could prove risky. Street View and Google Earth provide a preview of the location, and Maps provides step-by-step directions, which helps a bit. When using this app, it's important to discuss common sense tips and remind teens that safety is more important than curiosity or creating social media content. Other than generating random coordinates and giving users the option to create a report after visiting the location, there isn't much to this app. Most of the action related to Randonautica and the experiences of its users is on social media platforms including TikTok, Reddit, and Twitter. Tons of videos highlight people's experiences with Randonautica. Most illustrate similar experiences to the one had during review, which was a bit dull and included a grocery store, a street where construction was taking place, and an athletic field. Other users, however, have reported spooky, sketchy, and unusual experiences. TikTok users made the news after allegedly finding a dead body in a suitcase. Many videos on social media chronicle scary or weird experiences, which reaffirms the importance of situational awareness and engaging with caution in mind.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about practicing caution when using Randonautica. Since the app generates random coordinates, it's important for users to keep safety in mind and respect private property. Discuss trespassing and its potential risks. Remind users to use best judgement and avoid situations that could be dangerous.
Talk about common sense tips, such as exploring during daytime, always going with a buddy, carrying a portable charger, and sharing location with a trusted grown-up.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free (in-app purchases ranging from $0.99 - $19.99)
- Release date: July 26, 2020
- Category: Adventure Games
- Size: 29.10 MB
- Publisher: Randonauts, LLC
- Version: 1.0.8
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up.
- Last updated: August 24, 2020
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