Ever been approached by an ugly, or even worse, creepy looking stranger who insists on you giving them your cell phone number? Well, if this has happened more than once in your life, you might just be interested in the new Burner app from Ad Hoc Labs.
Burner lets you purchase a new, temporary cell phone number that can be used for a short period of time (up to one week) with your iPhone, without having to give up your real number. Once you’re done with it, the number is simply “burned” away, never to work again.
The app costs just $2 to download, and for that price you’re given enough credits to set up a temporary cell phone number, known as a mini-burner, which comes with 20 minutes of talk time or up to 60 text messages before it ‘expires’. If this talk time goes unused, the mini-burner is automatically terminated after seven days.
Should you make any calls or send any texts using your mini-burner, these will be charged on your ‘real’ phone plan, with the only difference being that the identities of both caller and recipient are kept hidden. Should you wish to buy new mini-burners, or extend an existing one, more credits can be purchased and spent on a variety of different burner options.
So is Burner the answer for all of you aspiring James Bonds out there? Probably not, and it’s unlikely to be that useful for nefarious or illegal activities either. However, if for any reason there’s a part of your life that you want to keep secret from eavesdroppers (partners, family, friends, work colleagues etc), then Burner could well come in handy. According to the developers, the app is suitable for a range of different purposes, including dating, craigslist transactions, short-term projects and of course, avoiding those creepy types who won’t let you out of their sight till they get that number from you.
Then of course, there are those who will no doubt see Burner’s potential in setting up one-off ‘encounters’, something that has already taken off on this unofficial Tumblr blog. I guess it’s each to their own with this particular app!
Burner is available to download via the iTunes store as of today.