Spend your battery’s last five percent in an existential chatroom [App of the Week]

Die With Me's splash screen, denying entry as the phone's battery is not below 5 percent.

A rapidly-dwindling phone battery invokes a special kind of anxiety in today’s connected world. We rely on our phones for so much, from business to socializing to just killing time; the prospect of being suddenly cut off from all that is so worrying that it birthed an entire industry of devices designed solely to extend the life of our batteries.

This feeling of helpless inevitability as we watch the number tick down to zero has been transformed from an irritation to a shared experience by the bleakly-named Die With Me. Superficially, this app is a simple chatroom, with the caveat of only being accessible once your phone’s battery dips below five percent charge. In practice though, Die With Me offers a safe haven in which to bond with anonymous strangers in the same predicament as you.

Accompanied only by a one-word username and a countdown timer that displays your remaining battery percentage as it depletes in real-time, the chatroom gives you a surprisingly personal peek into the minds of your fellow five-percenters. While the quality of conversation is obviously contingent on which strangers happen to be using the app concurrently, in my experience, good discussion was never in short supply.

Of course, on rare occasions, the kind of anonymous toxicity one can expect from the internet at large rears its ugly head. Fortunately, the app has block and report functions available at the touch of a button in case some auspicious individual decides to spend his phone’s final minutes ruining everyone else’s.

Die With Me is an interesting experience; more of an interactive art piece than an app, really. That said, it definitely won’t be for everyone. I can certainly see some curious purchasers regretting dropping a dollar on what’s essentially a barebones chatroom locked behind a gimmick.

Those who do enjoy it though, will find a one-of-a-kind experience that unites strangers who are fated by time to eventually become strangers once again. As you watch your conversation mates drop out one by one as their devices die and await your own inevitable demise, your greatest regret will be that you never got to say goodbye.

You can purchase Die With Me for $0.99 on iTunes and the Play Store.