With the Marco Polo app, the popular kid's game has found its way onto your iPhone. The beautifully designed app makes your iPhone your playmate, while at the same time helping you find your misplaced phone.
I call Marco, the smartphone replies
The classic kid's game Marco Polo games comes to iOS, with the sole purpose of helping you find a lost phone. Simply call out Marco, and the phone responds with Polo, notifying you of its location.
This is the app's only function: through your iPhone's mic, the app eavesdrops on the phone's surroundings. If someone says "Marco", the app will respond in one of over 30 voices with "Polo". The settings also offer an option that'll light up your iPhone by sending a push notification.
The default keyword is set to "Marco". With a tap on the word, you can put nearly any word as the keyword. Tip: If the keyword is too short, the app responds with almost every word.
A game to locate a misplaced phone
Thanks to the multitasking capabilities of iOS 7, Marco Polo stays active in the background and waits patiently for someone to say the key word. Marco Polo even works when the phone is locked, although not when it's off.
Unfortunately, the app only responds when there's very little ambient noise, and you have to speak very clearly. During our test, the app was pretty sensitive to the way we said "Marco". Another downside: with the app running constantly in the background, battery life drops dramatically.
Aside from functionality, the app is beautifully designed. The sole function of the app offers the perfect opprotunutiy for a minimalist interface and basic menu, because Marco Polo does exactly what it says it does, helping you find your phone, and nothing more.
The only annoying thing about the app is switching the voice of the "Polo", which is done by tapping on one of 30 voice options. If you accidentally tapped on or chose the wrong voice, you have to go through the entire list again, since there is no option to scroll through all the voice options.
Conclusion: More of a game than a help
Because of the high demand for battery and the sensitivity of the app, it might not be the best idea to discared your iPhone's native Find My Phone feature in favor of Marco Polo. Still, it's a fun app that'll help you find a phone that's lost in your couch cushions or under a pile of clothes, while bringing out your inner child.