I nearly forgot about my colorful history with the Magic 8 Ball, and then I read the news about Mattel’s new Magic 8 Ball app, which takes the classic toy and re-imagines it for modern-day mobile devices. For those who may be unfamiliar, the Magic 8 Ball has long been used for personal predestination, i.e., fortune telling. One would ask the mysterious sphere a yes or no question, give it a shake to get the liquid and dice inside a-rolling, and floating up would be such answers as, “Outlook good,” “Better not tell you now,” and, “My reply is no.”

The Magic 8 Ball app works in much the same way, only now it can be downloaded to an iPhone, iPad, or the new Apple Watch. Asking questions takes the form of either typing them in, or if one has the Apple Watch, speaking directly into the device. Then by tapping—or shaking—the device, an answer is revealed. If one is using the Magic 8 Ball correctly, this answer should be amusing, albeit possibly unhelpful (Please note: I can tell you from personal experience that the incorrect way to use the Magic 8 Ball is for important questions that might actually have an impact on your life. Some examples include, “Should I choose English Literature as my college major?” and, “I don’t have a corkscrew; should I try to open this bottle of wine with a hammer?”)

Answers can be shared on social media, which is great since it’s easy to reset and start over—just like with the original Magic 8 Ball—and some of app’s responses demand to be saved for review later. For example:


There’s also a feature that sends you questions, so you can ask them to the app and see what answers it comes up with. The bottom line: The Magic 8 Ball app is an enjoyable digital translation of a classic non-digital toy, boasting an easy interface, as well as a visual presentation that’s clean and appealing. Also, it’s free to download at the App Store. For all of these reasons, it’s worth checking out, but please use it responsibly.