Features & Use
Test device: Samsung Google Nexus S
Android version: 2.3.5
Download, install, start it up – sure thing. But before I do any of this I take a look at the required permissions. Seeing as this app enables users to contact other users, quite a few permission are required. It goes without saying that I install the app anyway.
First impression: the sickly green colour isn’t my cup of tea and will take a few moments getting used to. A welcome screen informs me of all the fun things I can do with the app – including firing ‘sound attacks’, which, I must admit, I find perplexing, but I’m sure to find out what that’s all about in due course. Other functions:
- Send unlimited QMS!
- Blog and post phots from your device!
- Meet new people!
- Play live games!
The (over?)use of excalmation marks bodes, erm, well. Anyway, I start clicking away, but nothing happens. I click and click but in the end must acquiesce that I have to re-start the app... but when I start it up again nothing’s changed, save for that the ‘next’ button has turned orange (it was grey before). So there’s no other way around it, I have to uninstall the app and and start from scratch – but once that’s done everything seems to be as it should, there are even icons on the screen. (BTW: I’m not sure what went wrong, but it could be that SD card was somehow limited because my phone was hooked up to my computer via USB cabel. The app seems to need unlimited access to the SD card in order to install properly...)
Then it’s time to choose to set up a new account, indicate that I’m already a qeeper or simply find out what qeep is all about. I choose to set up an account and come up with a nifty nickname and password, enter my age and gender and accept the terms and conditions and - voilà - I have a profile. I can then add more details such as personal information and a profile picture. I decide to take a new photo of myself to inaugurate my new profile, but this takes a lot longer than I expected, in fact I have to wait for about three minutes. Once that’s done – hallelujah! - I can start poking about.
There really is a lot to explore/do. I hit the ‘qeep’ tag and the following options pop up:
- My friends
- New QMS
- Qeeper online
- Invite friends
- New photoblogs
- Friend zoo
- Wall for everyone
- The hot list
- The biggest qeepers
- My last visits
Most of the above are self-explanatory, some of them are somewhat puzzling. Friend Zoo? This I have to check out. It turns out to be some sort of, erm, game. This is how the developers describe it: ‘Welcome to Friend Zoo. Meet people and turn them into your pets’. Hooo-kay, sounds like a virtual slave market to me, I think I’ll steer clear of that for now. In case you’re interested in trying it out: in order to ‘buy’ people you will need q-Points which you receive when others buy you. Whatevs, but to each their own.
I want to meet other qeepers, so I hit qeep and then Qeeper online. Micha3L is 13, which is a juuust a bit too young for my liking. I’m a bit scared off by the sound of BigDaddy109; that goes double for LORDBDSM. Come one, there are 8,419 users online, surely there’s someone out there I will deem interesting (and not too threatening).
I make my pick, request to become friends, enter a brief personal message and sit back and wait for the person to accept my friend request. While I wait, I decide tp check out what games are available. There are six in total, including the aforementioned Friend Zoo. The others: Tic Tac Toe, Crazy Eights, Flip Chip, Quadrix and Battleships, and you can play with friends or strangers. You can play for free or for money. You will need to upload some cash to an account in order to do the latter. I play against some guy from Kenya and win, but we were playing one of the free games so I don’t earn anything. The gaming works beautifully, though. Every game comes with a set of instructions and smart menus.
In the mean time I’ve grown tired of waiting for my one potential friend to respond to my request so I decide to have a look around and see if I can find others I might want to chat with. I end up writing to four people and within minutes one of them accepts my request. And then another. Wahey, I’ve got me two friends! These friends then show up in my contacts list and I can share photos with them send QMS messages (BTW, QMS is the internal qeep messaging service), play games with them and lots more. Messages are displayed in the main screen as new QMS. If you write a message in horizontal format and then turn you phone the text gets deleted – very annoying, but you have been warned! Perhaps this bug will be taken care of in the near future...
By now I have four friends and play another game with one of them, as well as send them a photo. I’m pleased to report that everything really does work as you would hope, and I must admit I was a bit apprehensive after getting off to such a bad start with installing the thing and all.
Oh yeah, what on earth are ‘sound attacks’? Turns out they’re basic sounds/effects, etc. that you can send to your contacts. I was intrigued by the odd sounding names of these effects, and seeing as there is an option to listen to them before sending them as an attack to someone I wanted to check them out. Something went wrong, however, and instead of listening to one myelf I sent it off to one of my new ‘friends’. Oops.
Friends, Fun, Free – qeep is a great app for users looking to interact with others virtually. It harbours a lot of different functions and options: games, chatting, sharing photos – qeep makes it possible and ties everything together in a really neat way. I personally don’t need or want to interact with people I don’t know. Others may have a lot of fun doing just that, but it’s just not my thing. Of course there are a few dodgy characters in qeep world, but the same is true of any other place, virtual or real.
Screen & Controls
Friends, Fun, Free – qeep harbours a lot of functions so it comes across as somewhat confusing at first glance. Once you start sticking your feelers out and poking about a bit you start to get the hang of things pretty quickly, though.
As mentioned, I’m not a huge fan of the app’s design, but others might like it. However, I’m not crazy about the bugs either and I doubt anyone will disagree with me there.
Speed & Stability
The app isn’t the fastest I’ve ever come across; certain things do take a while, even just switching from one tab to another. Friends, Fun, Free – qeep also crashed on me once after I hadn’t used it in a while. I mentioned the thing that happened when I first tried to install the app, but, again, this may have been related to the app not being able to access my SD card properly. That being said, it would’ve been nice to get an error message or something of the sort. Aside from these glitches the app runs as well as one might expect of this type of programme.
Friends, Fun, Free – qeep is free so there’s no reason to whinge about. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to spend (or win) money playing games, but the bottom line is that all functions can be used free of charge.