Android app warns you about bad news with colour coded messages

You'll never get caught off guard by abysmal footie scores again with this sentiment-analysing smartphone app

Ever been dumped by text and had it completely ruin an episode of Game of Thrones you were watching? Us too*. Checking your phone every minute and a half for new texts, tweets and posts on your timeline can sometimes be bad for your mood. So University of Portsmouth student Lorraine Chambers and lecturer Mohamed Gaber have figured out a way to warn you of impending bad news.

The Master's student and her School of Computing professor have developed an Android app that reads incoming SMS messages, emails and social updates before you do and colours them green for positive news, red for negative news and blue for neutral. This could be anything from a friend moaning at you to a stream of negative Twitter comments as the aim of the app is to let you avoid stress if you need to.

The tech is based on a desktop equivalent developed at the Eindhoven University of Technology, to help you hide from unwanted emails, but the app won't understand if information in messages will have a positive or negative impact on your life – it can only analyse the sentiment of the message itself.

Set for an official launch in September, the app isn't on Google Play yet. But the University of Portsmouth says that the team plan to release it as a free download with the potential to move over to iOS if there's enough interest.

*possibly untrue.

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