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iPhone and iTouch Magic Tricks

Share Your Story: Tell us about your favorite iPhone Magic Tricks and Apps

By Wayne Kawamoto

iPhone and iTouch Magic Tricks

Name of the Magic App and What it Does

Virtual Magic Pro by Benjamin Vianney - $35

A collection of ten iPhone apps that allow you to perform magic tricks. It's a strong set, about the best that I've seen to date. I particularly like the fact that the tricks are true apps that are interactive and not the non-interactive video of many iPhone tricks to date.

Why I Like It

A few years back, I was initially intrigued with the prospects of using an Apple iPhone or iTouch in magic tricks. There was something cool about integrating magic techniques with an interactive LCD screen ala Marco Tempest. But until now, I’ve never found a magic app that I wanted to actually perform.

While I’m still not entirely on board with iPhone magic tricks, Benjamin Vianney’s “Virtual Magic Pro” offers some good magic apps - ten in all in a kit that costs about $35. I discovered that there was lots of in-depth thought, creativity and planning that went into these magic apps.

The disc teaches ten routines that you download via Apple iTunes (included in the price). There are several virtual reality effects where an object: a coin or sponge ball is tossed into the screen of the iPhone and later retrieved. A strong innovation beyond the similar effects that I have seen that relied on non-interactive video, the apps rely on the iPhone’s accelerometer to convincingly move the objects around the screen as you or a spectator tilt the iPhone. Very cool.

There’s an ATM style trick where you download money and then seemingly pull a bill from your iPhone.

There are also various card tricks. While the collection offers a version of the overused Princess card trick, this effect features a great mixing segment that allows users to scramble the cards by tilting the iPhone. Another effect apparently scans a spectator’s fingerprints to identify the selected card. There’s also a strong prediction of a freely named card that relies on a well known method.

Most notable is a card at any number effect (ACAAN) that uses the calculating abilities of the iPhone app to support an impressive method. I had never before seen this convincing approach and was so impressed I want to use and perform it without the iPhone.

The instructional video is good quality, but the English is dubbed over the French and can be difficult to understand. A major problem is that some of the iPhone apps are in French and there’s seemingly no way to convert them to English. While the card tricks are universal, it’s strange for English-speaking magicians to be showing screens in French.

Downloading and activating the apps is not difficult, but there are no instructions on how to do so. I had to email the creator to obtain useful instructions. You first download the apps from iTunes and then activate them with an enclosed code.

I’m still not an iPhone magic app convert, but I like this one

Advice

  • I’m still not sold on iPhone magic tricks. I think my reservation comes from my impression that I think a trick with an iPhone gets weaker responses from my spectators than simply performing the tricks in the classic way.
  • For example, a well done sponge ball is trick is always a crowd pleaser. But do I really need to vanish the sponge ball into an iPhone’s screen and then cause it to seemingly “transport” and join another that’s being held by a spectator? In my opinion, the iPhone adds an unnecessary layer and distraction.

Price for App and More Information

$35 (includes instructional DVD and ten apps)

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