Unexpected Uses for Pocket Fan

I envisioned Pocket Fan to be a novelty app. What else would you call an app that displayed an animated fan? It certainly wasn’t supposed to be useful. My perception changed when I got this comment on the Android Market:

Can’t sleep without the sound of a fan. This is almost perfect for power outages. Just needs to stay open and not black screen after 1 minute.

When I first read that comment, I thought to myself “He can just set his screen to never time out…” and went back to work on my game. Then I saw a post on reddit entitled “I can’t sleep unless you’re near me…”. It was just a picture of a box fan, but it all clicked for me then. Pocket Fan could be used as a sound machine or noise generator. 

This wasn’t just some random and uncommon use for the app, either. Google Analytics showed that 10.22% of users spent more than 3 minutes using Pocket Fan. Surprisingly, 5.98% of all Pocket Fan sessions last for more than 1,800 seconds. That’s right, more than 30 minutes with a novelty app open. However, the most shocking statistic was that the average session duration for the 30+ minutes segment was over 4 hours! I guess some people really were keeping the backlight on. Keep in mind, Pocket Fan doesn’t run in the background. It has to be open and visible for a session to be considered live.

So with the data backing me up, I added a background mode to Pocket Fan. Enabling this option would keep the fan sound running even while the screen is off.

Sleep well and study hard, Pocket Fan is here to help.

4 comments on “Unexpected Uses for Pocket Fan

  1. How did you get your audio to keep playing after the screen has dimmed? You use libGDX yes? Me too. I have an app that has a bunch of ambient sounds, but have to keep the screen at least dim to ensure the sounds don’t turn off. Any tips would be greatly appreciated :)

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