Sometimes you just need to contact and be contacted with a temporary number. And the iOS app that has popularized that practice since last August has just launched on Android.
Burner allows users to easily create disposable phone numbers for both voice and SMS communications. All you have to do is open the app, tap to create a new burner, pick an area code, and tell the app which number the burner should forward all messages to. Now you have a temporary number to use in any variety of dealings, one that prevents any contact from knowing your true phone number.
Upon downloading the free app, users are given one free burner applications. After that, additional numbers can be purchased through credit packages starting at $1.99.
“We’re really excited to launch Burner for Android. Android is a huge market opportunity for us, and along with making Burner for iOS free, is a key step in making Burner available to everyone,” said Greg Cohn, CEO Ad Hoc Labs. “As privacy is becoming an increasingly hot issue in the mobile space, Burner is an important tool for users to protect themselves by adding an extra layer of anonymity to their phones.”
If you're like me, the word "burner" brings up thoughts of The Wire and cheap dumbphones that can be used for illicit activities. But in reality, there's a host of reasons why you would want to call and text from a number that's not your own.
Think communications with buyers on a service like Craigslist. Or even dating - you sure don't want that guy to have your real number if he turns out to be a creep. Burner suggests that their service is perfect for things like job searches, short-term projects, and social networks. It's also ideal for professionals who don't really want clients ringing them at all hours of the night - think doctors, lawyers, or teachers.
Along with the big Android launch, Burner has also made significant improvements to their iOS app:
"Burner has also made significant upgrades to its iOS app. New features include: customizable voicemail greetings; the ability to manage call history by starring, renaming or hiding conversations; improved notifications of in-bound calls, missed calls and voicemails; and other enhancements. In addition, consumers can now refer Burner to friends to earn credits for their account."
Although you're not going to be able to use the Burner app to completely hide yourself from the prying eyes of the law, it's an incredibly useful app when you want to hide yourself from people you don't know, don't trust, or don't particularly wish to have long-term communications with.