Thursday, February 10, 2011

Technology At Its Worst

In researching my last post on “Smuggle Truck”, I came across a myriad of wonderful, absolutely awful iPhone apps. It is boggles my mind that this revolutionary technology is being used in such useless, asinine ways. Here are my personal favorites, but there are many, many more out there. I did this in a countdown format to build the excitement...

7. iStrip Pen

This app mimics the same idea behind those risqué, “turn the pen upside down to see a naked lady” novelty pens from the 60’s. The upside? There isn’t one. It costs 99 cents, the graphics are terrible and, this being an official app, it of course features no nudity.

You can probably go down to your local tourist trap souvenir shop and get yourself the real novelty pen for half the price. You might even get to see some skin.

6. iKissMe

Per the developer, "No matter what your love life brings to the table, you will have a big soft pair of lips to kiss whenever you want!" Really?
Dial your preferred kiss type, and iKissMe will reward you with a kiss sound effect when you, yes, kiss your beloved iPhone. And then you have to call it “Precious” or it gets jealous.

To again quote the developer's description, "iKissMe is a great way to practice your kissing skills, or just to bring you up when you're feeling down." For $4.99.

My heart goes out to anyone who finds succor in this app - it's multi-touch narcissistic osculatorial masturbation is at best, unsettling.

5. That’s What She Said

Let’s be honest, we have all chuckled at Michael Scott using this witty comeback in many episodes of “The Office”. At one point this was funny. It still is funny in very small doses. But let’s be honest – anyone buying this app has no intentions of using it in small doses.

I can see the appeal. You’re in the middle of a meeting and your boss sets you up, but you don’t want to be caught saying TWSS. So you press the button and now everyone is giggling, except your boss, who is wondering who said it. Oh yeah, it’s the jackass with the iPhone in his hand.

4. Taxi Hold ‘em

This is a simple application that makes a loud whistling sound and displays an epilepsy-inducing taxi sign to get the attention of nearby cabbies. Of course, it’s a free app, so no harm done, right?

So I imagined myself in Chicago, getting off the subway, and hailing a cab in Ford Heights. I know what you’re thinking - cabbies don’t go to Ford Heights! For purposes of this illustration, let’s pretend they do. I don’t see any cabs (surprisingly), so I take out my trusty iPhone, turn on the bright yellow flashing iPhone which whistles and buzzes, and wave it around in the air.

I don’t think I’ll get the ride I was expecting.

3. Baby Shaker

Baby Shaker turns the revolutionary iPhone motion sensors into a way for the user to torture and silence an animated crying infant on the screen.

One look at the screenshot tells it all. This is just plain awful - and I thought I was a cynical bitch…

2. Hold On!

This application bills itself as one of the ultimate productivity increasers. You press the button and a timer keeps track of how long you keep your finger in place. Huh?

1. HangTime

Flying into first place for the most asinine app of the bunch, HangTime measures just how high you can throw your fancy-schmancy iPhone. That's right: You toss the iPhone up in the air, and the program lets you know how far it goes and how long it takes to come crashing down.

HangTime runs 99 cents, plus the cost of buying a new iPhone when yours inevitably shatters on the ground. WTF?

I probably shouldn't find this funny, but...

For any of us who have iPhones, iTouch, Android, etc., we know the pains of app addiction. I myself have downloaded and deleted more useless apps than I can count. Some are extremely useful, some a lot of fun, and many that are completely useless. This app however, is completely ridiculous.

“TUCSON, Arizona (Reuters) – A controversial iPod and iPad application that makes a game of the perils of sneaking across the U.S.-Mexico border has sparked controversy among activists for immigrant rights.

In the game "Smuggle Truck," which is due for release next month, a truck bounces along a cartoon desert highway and sheds men, women and children as it hits bumps and hops over creeks and canyons. The aim of the app is to keep immigrants in the bed of the truck as they speed through the border lands.”. It’s so hilariously awful!

I am not even kidding. I read this and actually laughed out loud at my desk. How ridiculous is that?! Of course immigration activists are all up in arms about it, and I suppose with good reason. Each year hundreds of thousands are arrested as they try to sneak across the border from Mexico, and worse hundreds perish making the trip.

But you have to love the developer’s response to the criticism: "Smuggle Truck was inspired by the frustration our friends have experienced in trying to immigrate to the United States," Smuggle Truck's developer, Boston-based firm Owlchemy Labs, said in a statement posted online. "With such a troublesome issue being largely avoided in popular media, especially video games, we felt the best way to criticize it was with an interactive satire," it added.

Oh, so it’s a “political statement”, is that it? I gotta’ call bullshit.