App your phone: Dear Appvice for Android offers sexy advice on the go

Are you interested in advice on sex, love and relationships? I’m going to assume that most of you are, and that’s why Dear Appvice will easily compel people to give it a try.

After you install and run Dear Appvice, you create your account, adding sex (but only male or female; perhaps the app’s makers should be petitioned to make this feature more inclusive) and age before creating your username. You then go to the main screen, where four category buttons appear: Sex, Love, Dating and Relationships. You also have a pull-up tab at the bottom of the screen where you can either get advice, give advice, look at advice, or look at your personal advice history (of given or taken advice) and the average ratings the advice you gave has received from others (five stars being the highest rating).

The advice appears in columns, formatted in simple text. Advice is listed by the 25 most recent postings, and you move from one posting column to the next by finger-scrolling directly on the text column.

There’s a wide range of questions, as well as answers, in all four categories. They include stuff like “Where do I go to meet another lady who is interested in being friends with benefits?,” “What do you do when you can’t get over someone?” and “He likes me and another girl. Should I stay with him?” The respective answers include advice like “OKCupid,”  “Get under someone else,” and “No. If he likes another girl, obviously you’re not good enough for him.” The benefit of Dear Appvice is that frank discussion is encouraged by its anonymity. The only information showing beside each post, whether a question or an answer, is username and age. The app processed my age incorrectly, however — it says I’m 44 (I’m actually 36). Other Dear Appvice users have noticed this issue as well. So, while I can’t be sure if the users’ info indicates their actual ages, the target audience seems to vary from teenage to middle-aged; it’s nice to see the young’uns getting helpful advice from older generations.

Before I downloaded this app, I made sure to check the reviews, which I think everyone should make a habit of doing in order to learn about any issues an app might have. It only has a 2.5/5 star rating, and I think the main reason for that is Dear Appvice’s unreliability. One reviewer said the app crashed after only a minute of operation, and it soon happened to me as well. In fact, the app would often freeze up and crash, particularly when scrolling from one advice column to another.

Beyond the app’s technical issues, users of Dear Appvice obviously should be discerning when it comes to following people’s advice. That’s the downside when it comes to anonymous online forums, but thankfully, most comments I saw were positive and helpful.

My final verdict? Dear Appvice is a lot of fun, possibly even addictive, and I think that’s because it’s simple and easy to use, and it relies on content contributed by its users, just like any good online forum. The only thing dragging it down is its unreliability and the gender binary-enforcing user profile options. Once the developer (hopefully) fixes the bugs in the program, it’ll likely receive much higher reviews in the Google Play store.

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