Believe it or not, there genuinely are some people out there who believe they can turn their smartphone- or tablet's display into a solar charger, simply by changing the screensaver. Indeed, we were quite fascinated to see Solar Charger trending on Android's Google Play market.

First thing we did: checked the permissions. It's got to be a scam, right? Wrong. Solar Charger is simply a joke, but one designed to teach those who download it that they should be more careful over what apps they choose to install. The only things this app has control over is vibration feedback and whether your display is able to go dark. Well, it won't soak up many rays while hiding in the shade.

As if we needed to tell you, Solar Charger will not charge up your smartphone or tablet's battery - not today, not tomorrow, not ever. The developer's description even says as much, provided that you clicked the 'More' button to read the full text. If the suggestion that in the Pro version the device will make a fart noise while charging wasn't a big enough hint, Szlab spells it out for you: "Of course this application is not charging your phone. You didn't think so, did you?"

As an app, Solar Charger is a total waste of space. But the idea behind it has the potential to teach Android users everywhere about security - and we'd much rather they learned that by becoming a laughing stock than as a victim of malware. If that alone isn't worth the one-star rating we've awarded Solar Charger, its user reviews are. We've included a selection of our favourites below. See also: Best Android Apps.

Travis: "Not only did it charge my phone (and fast), but it also made me breakfast the next morning."

cwarner7264: "I forgot my charger on a two-week-long business trip; this app saved my skin! All I had to do was leave on the light in my hotel room overnight and my battery was full the next morning! Every Android user should have this!"

Rob: "Not only does it charge your phone but, if you plug in your charger at the same time, it will charge everything in house - even the non-electrical devices. Flowers will bloom twice. Vegetables will become fresh again. It even deodorised our bin and, somehow, impregnated my wife. This has improved my life endlessly. Five stars when it can make a decent lasagne."

Solar Charger for Android: Specs

  • Android 1.6 or later
  • 105k available storage
  • Android 1.6 or later
  • 105k available storage

OUR VERDICT

Our advice: do not download Solar Charger. This app has absolutely no useful potential on your Android smartphone or tablet, but it has a powerful lesson to teach: always read the full description and check the permissions an app requests before downloading it.

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