With all of the productivity tweaks and usability enhancements that we cover here at Gadget Hacks, it's nice when we come across a unique and noteworthy app that's simply about having fun.
This is the case with the latest offering from the development team at Privax. Their app allows you to spoof a phone number from many countries across the world, and even offers a free trial with a dollar's worth of credits to call and send text messages. It's up to you to decide what you want to do with your new international number, but I'm sure this one leaves a lot of wiggle room for pranking your friends.
When you first launch Hide My Phone, the app will ask you to create an account. Enter a valid email address and a password that you can remember, then press the "Get Started" button.
From here, you can either start up a free trial of the service, or purchase credits directly. I'd recommend going with the free trial option at first, since the service is brand new and can occasionally have server issues. The free trial comes with a $1 calling credit and expires after 7 days.
After account setup is complete, you'll have to decide which country your new phone number will originate from. Select the country, then choose the specific region within that country.
From here, you'll be given a list of all the available numbers in this region. Select your new phone number, then you'll see a rundown of your trial period and account details.
From Hide My Phone's main menu, tap the phone icon at the bottom of the screen to make a call. You can call anywhere in the world, but long-distance rates apply and will be deducted from your account credits.
If you experience any issues at this juncture, Hide My Phone's servers may be experiencing heavy traffic loads. Close the app and re-open it to attempt to establish another connection.
Then, if you'd like to message someone from your new number, tap the icon in the bottom-right corner. Your messages will be sent over SMS to their intended recipients.
If you're using your number to prank a friend and you feel like they're onto you, tap the "bomb" icon in the lower-left corner. All of your call logs and messages will self-destruct, removing all traces of your recent activity.