Certified True Randomizers: let one app make all your decisions

Certified True Randomizers

Left, or right? Chicken, or fish? Where are we going next?

Life is full of decisions. Some you’ll want to think about, carefully evaluate and discuss. But if they’re not so important -- or you’d just prefer a more surprising life -- then you could let your phone choose the outcome, with a little help from Certified True Randomizers.

This simple app provides six ways to make a random choice. It can flip a coin; roll up to six dice at once; shuffle a pack of playing cards and pick them one at a time; pick lottery numbers, with support for 170+ lotteries around the world; generate integers according to your own rules, and produce lists of random numbers.

We tried the Android app, which provides all of these for free, but for some reason the iOS version only includes the coin flipper. The others cost $0.99 each, or you can buy all five for $2.99.

There are no twists to this, no extra abilities. No hidden dice games, or variations on Solitaire. Despite one or two surprise interface extras -- like the option to flip one of 100+ coin types -- the app is really just a means to choose a random outcome.

Still, that’s not quite as trivial as you might think. This is the official app of Random.org, and the developer claims it "offers certified true randomness, generated with atmospheric noise and independently approved by several testing labs". And so it’s more reliably random than the usual computer-generated values. Maybe.

One consequence of this approach is that the app has to be able to go online to retrieve its seed values. If you’re offline then you’ll need to fall back on flipping a coin (or whatever) yourself.

The app only uses a fixed portrait layout, too, and so won’t look great on all devices.

Certified True Randomizers does provide an easy way to make instant decisions, though, and it’s genuinely useful for tasks like picking lottery numbers. Give it a try. Or not. (Your call.)

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