With the out-turns of demonetization slowly setting in, the nation has gone more digital, with people relying on more online and wallet payments. In a similar wave of app downloads, an app called, Modi Keynote, was released on November 12 on the Android platform, garnering quite some popularity, with over four million app downloads. Developed by Barra Skull Studios, a Bangalore based-startup, the Augmented Reality (AR)-based app displayed Prime Minister Narendra Modi s speech on black money and demonetization, projected over the new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes. Since the app used the new notes for projection, users were also using the app to test the authenticity of the notes they withdrew (since a number of fake notes were spotted in circulation). Also Read - "Mobile payments exceeded ATM cash withdrawals for the first time" in India last year: PM ModiAlso Read - India's first virtual science lab launched for students: Here's what the govt wants to acheive with it
While people were hoping that the developers would roll out the app for iOS users as well, the app has however been pulled down from Google Play as well. In an interview with Gadgets 360, the developers explain why they needed to pull the app down. Also Read - Indian government looking to ban private cryptocurrencies, will submit Bill soon
Like we mentioned earlier, people began to use the app to test the authenticity of the new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes. They thought if the app was projecting the Prime Minister s videos on their note, it must not be fake. However, that is not the case, the Modi Keynote app does not actually distinguish between real and fake currency. Even the description on the Play Store defined the app just for fun . However, like the rumor about there being a GPS chip in the Rs 2,000 note, the misinformation about the app also traveled, leaving people using the app as a scale of currency authenticity.
The idea was to make people understand the key points spoken by our Prime Minister in a different and interesting way using augmented reality technology, the Modi Keynote team told the publication. However, the idea behind the app went horribly wrong because of some YouTube videos and social media, with people spreading misinformation of authenticating the currency, something the app was not intended for, said the team. ALSO READ: Narendra Modi app, name variants dominate top trending search on App Store, Google Play
The Barra Skull Studios stressed over the point that the app was not removed from the Google Play store due to any violations, but was pulled down by the developers themselves, in the interest of the public.
We request app reviewers who take our apps and misguide millions of users with their own views to read the description and intention of the app developer [and] pass exactly the same, rather than misguiding them with their own understanding, the team requests the ones spreading the false information. ALSO READ: Narendra Modi launches in-app survey to seek first-hand opinions on demonetization of Rs 500, Rs 1,000 notes
Despite the original Modi Keynote app having been pulled down, there are more than 15 apps by the same name, and similar looking icons on Google Play store. But be sure, that these apps are fake. If any time soon Barra Skull Studios decides to put the app back up again, make sure to cross check the developer name in the description.