There’s now an AR app that lets you shoot your real-life friends

We've written about some downright strange apps in our Appetite for Distraction series so far, but perhaps the most offensive app of them all is here in the form of Mobile Gun for Android.

Mobile Gun is quite the violent proposition. In it, you shoot a pistol and see the effects on the people in front of you.  Yep – it's Call of Duty made real, thanks to its augmented reality smarts. Friends, family, even complete strangers – none are safe from the smartphone sniper – all without the repercussions of actually going on a murderous rampage.

Whatever your phone's rear camera is pointing at will be in the firing line, then you simply press the fire button on the right hand side to hear the gun sound and a see small blood spurt effect.

It includes facial tracking software too, to make sure you hit your target dead on. You can upgrade your guns to semi-automatic weapons and it comes with authentic  sound effects. 

We don't know who features in the video below, but it's the official advert for the app and they don't seem particularly dedicated to their roles:

If you're going to recreate it with a bit more pizazz, you'll have to lay down some safety mats and get your pals to play dead in dramatic fashion... unlike the sleepwalkers in the advert.

Augmented reality is one of the most innovative technologies that would have metaphorically blown the minds of anyone 100 years ago. But human nature of course means it was only a matter of time before we used it for a simulated slaughter.

It's a little bit different to be shooting real-life people rather than an NPC who are imaginary characters you'll 'hurt' on a rampage in a game of Grand Theft Auto, but bringing that kind of intention into a real-life space feels like a step too far.

This is probably the first app we've run in this column where we'd actively recommend not downloading it. You don't want this on your phone, so avoid it like you would the guy sat at the back of the bus playing this and aiming his phone at you with the sound all the way up.

Appetite for Distraction

Would I play this on the toilet? You'd struggle to unless you want to line up the shampoo bottles in your shower and virtually shoot them.

Ad'o'meter? Presumably all of the Mad Men have been killed by the app as there are no ads to be seen here.

Who in the world would play this? Psychopaths and dedicated Grand Theft Auto fans.

Did my phone get hacked after installing it? You'll need to attach it to your Facebook profile, so maybe one day soon it'll take over your social media accounts.

Should you download it? No... you don't want this on your phone

Appetite for Distraction is a new column where we highlight the weird and wonderful apps and games you can download to your phone or tablet. Want to submit an app? Hit James up on Twitter – @JamesRWP.

James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.