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Update: since the time of writing (just days ago!), Face Truth has been removed from the App Store. We’re not 100% sure why, but we’d guess it has to do with the borderline offensive inaccuracies it was peddling. We’ll leave this review here as an amusing eulogy to a very strange app, and update further if the developers ever manage to bring it back. Without further ado, please enjoy reading about the bizarre claims of Face Truth for iOS.
Usually, we look for the best and brightest of the App Store when picking out reviews. But, just sometimes, we like to take a dive into the seedy underbelly of the App Store to see what we can unearth. Today, that honor goes to Face Truth, an app that claims to be able to reveal all kinds of secrets about you just by scanning your face. Is there any merit to those claims?
You might not be aware, but there are a ton of apps out there making the same basic claims. Scan your face and they’ll mock up your baby, your future self, and tell you how good you look on a vague numerical scale. Most of these apps are soulless money-grabs, short on content and big on charging megabucks for vague horoscope-style in-app purchases. Face Truth, meanwhile, is completely free – so we thought we’d give it the benefit of the doubt. How bad could it be?
Face Truth boasts four modes, each requiring a scan of your face (and sometimes a second person’s face) before giving out often hilarious results. You can use photos from the camera roll too, which is a nice touch. Let’s take these features one by one.
First up is When You Are Old, a tool that uses a “complex mathematical transformation model” to digitally age your features. Align your face in the camera, snap a photo, and the app mocks up what you’ll look like at 60. Results here were mixed, with some pictures barely changing at all while others would supplant the source model’s eyes onto a random stock photo. It’s worth experimenting as when the results turn out well they can be very funny.
Second is Beauty Contest, a way to finally know for sure if you’re “prettier than your rival.” Input two pictures and they’ll each be scored on vague criteria such as face shape, expression, and skin. This one seems to be based on some kind of bizarre voodoo magic, but at least it’s not completely random – as a test, we pitted two near-identical photos and the match came out as a tie. This mode is a funny way to get one over on your friends, but its scores are pretty arbitrary.
Next, we have the borderline offensive Ethnicity Analyzer, a worrying piece of technology that claims it can figure out “where your ancestors came from” by seeing how you match up to a huge database of sample photos. The results from our testing (and backed up by a lot of the App Store comments) were entertainingly bad. Our white British model scored a 0% on the Caucasian scale, pegging her instead as part Latino and part Middle Eastern – a highly inaccurate analysis. It gave the impression the app was just pulling numbers out at random.
Finally, and perhaps most amusingly, is Our Future Baby, which takes two photos and tries to figure out what their offspring would look like. It mocks up both a son and a daughter, but the likenesses are bizarre – we tried a few different parental combinations and none of the babies looked remotely like the parents. They seemed more like an amateur mashup of a bunch of stock baby faces with no real thought to what the parents look like.
Each of these features is appended with a disclaimer reminding users that the tests “may not be 100% accurate,” which might just be the understatement of the year. In our testing, we didn’t see much that even resembled a bad courtroom sketch of accuracy.
So overall, these features are not exactly impressive. Why, then, is Face Truth (and other apps like it) such a hit an on the App Store, breaching the top 100 entertainment apps? Perhaps because, despite its wild inaccuracy, there’s real entertainment value here in trying out the tests for yourself. It may only keep you amused for ten minutes, but with a bit of trial and error you can get some very funny and very shareable results!
- Quick dumb fun
- Amusing photo mockups
- Completely free
- Wildly inconsistent results
- Gets tiresome quickly