Effect: You show a deck of virtual cards, both front and back, and then tell the spectator you're going to attempt to predict their choice. You set the iPhone (or iPod Touch) on the table. Once the spectator announces their choice you pick up the iPhone and flip their card to show that your prediction was correct.
As with all of these types of effects, the wow factor is dependent upon your ability to sell the REAL effect which is your prediction of a playing card. [b][i]The focus has to be between you and the spectator.[/i][/b] Too often I see people perform these types of effects where the focus is between the performer and his beloved iPhone and not surprisingly, the effect falls flat.
Enough preaching. This specific app is terrific because the effect is simple and the method is diabolical enough to prevent back-tracking. When the app launches you see a face-up random playing card. Each time you tap the screen that card slides off and another random card is then shown face-up. If you swipe, then the card turns over and you see a Red Bicycle back.
I show the spectator several cards (and I swipe a few times as well to show front and back) and then announce I'm going to attempt to predict their selection. (I actually do more build-up then this but I'm editing out my presentation as it isn't germane to the review). I turn the iPhone back toward myself and tap a number of times to find just the right card. When that is done I flip the card face down and set the iPhone down on the table.
After they announce their card you can pick up the iPhone and turn the card over to show that you predicted their selection. It only requires one swipe to pick the card they were thinking of. (And no, there are not 52 different "hot spots" to have to remember, it's much better than that).
I've been using this for about a year now and it's been a real winner for me. Many of the reviews are low because too many lay people buy these types of apps and are expecting... well, I'm not sure what they're expecting.
Bottom line: If you're a magi that loves cards but don't always have a deck with you, this is a very solid effect that, with the right presentation, can be a real worker for you.
[*] Method is very clean and there are no extraneous movements
[*] Very clever way of disabling/enabling the card selection method so that after showing the prediction you can immediately hand out the iPhone and no one will be able to figure it out
[*] The app launches the deck without any preliminary instructions (in fact, it will be impossible for people to figure out how to get to any "instructions")
[*] Back of the cards are Rider backs so should be familiar (at least to U.S. audiences)
[*] Price point ($2.99) is a lot lower than many lesser iPhone magic effects
[*] Effect is simple and not cluttered with superfluous elements which lets you concentrate on the presentation
[*] Faces of the cards are not Bicycle faces, though they are similar to Bikes. The look is not nearly as sexy as the Ellusionist Invisible Deck cards, but the effect is cleaner.
[*] It will take some practice to [b]smoothly[/b] nail the right card every time. (At this point I'm able to pick up the iPhone and face it away from me and toward them and show the correct card, but again it will require a modest time investment)
[*] Backs (and faces) of the cards are not customizable