Rando isn't picture Chatroulette for Android - it's just boring

It's completely possible, I suppose, that your experience with Rando will be completely different than mine. After all, this is an Android app that delivers random pictures that someone took in exchange for some of your own. Give a random picture, get a picture.

And it's completely reasonable to predict that a photo-sharing service such as this, in which the sender is as anonymous as the receiver, would quickly be inundated by random acts of nudity. (And, face it, that's hardly the worst thing that I've imagined could anonymously show up on my screen.)

But, no. I've not been bombarded by anonymous body parts. Or any kind of parts. Or anything remotely interesting, actually.

The basic premise of Rando is simple enough. Sign up for an account with the app (it doesn't use Google login or Facebook or anything, at least at the time of this writing), and then take a picture with Rando. You can't upload pictures you've already snapped, guaranteeing more of a "live" thing. Your picture is anonymously sent to someone you don't know. OK, it's not 100 percent anonymous -- Rando sends your city and country to person randomly selected to receive your picture. And in return, you get a picture from a similarly anonymous Rando user. Tap a picture you've received to see where that person's located. 


But after a few days, a couple things have become clear. This is nowhere as interesting a service as Instagram, which has some spectacular photography. And it's nowhere near as frightening as Chatroulette, which has seemingly nonstop naked, and not in a good way. With Rando, though, I've received maybe two pictures that you could consider possibly offensive in any way. One you see at the top of this post, imploring "ladies" to "get naked." (Whomever sent that one should at least get points for using proper punctuation.) The other I've seen could well have been an accidental picture, with the shutter being hit just as the camera aimed crotchward. Or perhaps this was my best shot at seeing someone's junk. Either way, fail.

(It's worth mentioning at this point -- and in all seriousness -- that it's against Rando's terms of service to "submit images which are defamatory, threatening or likely to harass, racially or ethnically offensive, pornographic, obscene or which might encourage violent or criminal conduct or which are otherwise inappropriate." It's also worth reading over Rando's privacy policy to see what it is they can and can't do with your pictures, and how the app handles your anonymity.)

But along with a (welcome) dearth of nudity has a basic lack of interesting pictures. Maybe this is my fault, though. Maybe there's some sort of Rando karma. The quality of the pictures I've received is about as poor as what I've sent. Almost like everyone's sending in crap, hoping to get a bit of skin in return. Maybe that's just made up in my head, but I wouldn't at all be surprised if it's pretty close to the truth. Or maybe everyone's still just toeing the waters.

Or perhaps anonymity -- one of Rando's core features -- is hurting here. If I post the most spectacular photo ever seen in human history -- nobody will know I took it. So I have no incentive to take a good picture and share it on Rando.

So, yeah. Rando's not the devil. But neither is it a photo service that's going to be on my phone any longer.

Phil Nickinson