They make our lives easier and they definitely make waiting in a queue a lot more fun but with half a million (yes, 500,000) of them now available in the App store it’s suffice to say that quantity and quality are not always good friends in the world of mobile applications. A great deal of the apps being churned out by bored, unemployed developers are good for nothing more than a laugh. It’s a damn good thing a lot of them are free. Here are a few iPhone apps that got under my skin.
The worst of the time-wasters
Allowing you to zip and unzip the same zipper as many times as you like, this pearl of an application takes the cake in complete uselessness. It’s free and there aren’t any linked uses or possible avenues the creators could use to generate revenue – it isn’t part of any denim brand campaign and you don’t even accumulate points for exceeding the previous number of unzips per day. In short it’s pointless. You can however customise the underwear you would like to see peeking out from underneath the unzipped jeans if that sounds interesting to you.
Bulls eye – an app that’s reached the centre of uselessness. Touch Train provides a circular bulls eye that you should attempt to touch the exact centre of, just as in archery. The white pixel in the centre is absolutely miniscule and it isn’t necessarily easy but still a little pointless. You could argue that there is some skill required here and therefore a need for this most invaluable tool but all that happens once you manage to reach the middle is that you will be told you were successful. Then you begin again.
Hair Clinic for Men and Women
If you have the misfortune of actually suffering from male or female pattern baldness or have lost your hair for whatever other reason, then you will know that it’s not an easily-solved problem and if it was, follicle rejuvenation therapies, transplants and hair replacement surgeries would not exist. This cruel and utterly useless app claims to regenerate your hair by pumping special frequencies into your follicles. If you believe that you’ll believe anything. Don’t do it, it will not be $3.99 well spent.
To quote a very sarcastic (or misguided) consumer who commented on the app on iTunes – “This app is incredible. The cutting edge graphics and interface really bring to life the fascinating world of stapling. It also saved my marriage, curtailed poverty in my area, slowed down global warming, won the election for Obama, lowered the price of gas, and has a decent chance of bringing peace to the Middle East. THIS is what the iPhone 3G was built for”. This ‘fascinating’ application has been called, ‘The first true office equipment simulator’, a most enviable title it would seem – SimStapler provides you with a virtual stapler (everyone needs one of those), so you can keep track of the number of staples you’ve used. This will give you a ‘score’ of sorts. Poke your screen repeatedly and you can click your way to thousands of spent staples.
Just plain distasteful
The ‘Avoid Ghetto’ App
Firstly, this is not the real name of this app – the ‘Pedestrian Route Production’ came under a barrage of controversy that forced its makers (Microsoft) to take a re-look at their creation. The app supposedly assists pedestrians and drivers by letting them know where tough terrain, bad weather and unsafe areas are, however a closer look revealed that the app simply outlines lower income or ‘black’ areas, helping you to avoid these. It is said to use a combination of maps, weather reports, crime statistics and route recommendations, all of which sound like they would be helpful but the industry, members of the general public and even the NAACP rubbished the app, slating it for being discriminatory and nothing more.