As we start up the new year we often put together our own sets of lists. The top things that we hope to quite in the coming year. Possibly the list of new postive activities we want to cram into our schedule. Now that we are a few weeks in we can look at what has been accomplished so far and see that all of our big goals seem a lot bigger than we originally had planned. When we take a look at the iPhone's application factory, the iTunes' App Store, the way in which applications are flooded through are also composed of constant lists. With different top ten lists, noteworthy lists, recommended lists, and other types of distractions we are often persuaded into checking out some of the most inane pieces of software available. While Apple holds a Stalinist party control over the release of third party iPhone applications it also seems to have a low bar for what it passes through. Hundreds of iPhone applications at a time get pushed through the gate that hold a single mediocre function, an annoying game that was discarded years ago, or a feature that does little more than make you ooh and awe at the glory that is the touch screen. With this annoyance in mind we now put together a list of our own: the top five worst iPhone applications of the new year of 2010.
Start by taking a mediocre, somewhat popular television show. The decide that you need to create an promotional free iPhone application that creates an interactive experience that is both boring and lacking in anything other than advertising. Chuck(Which was actually released at the end of December, so we are cheating a little bit), will insult every avenue of intelligence that you happen to have. Chuck's new wise cracking adventures of tech savvy investigation are not only dripping with ironic cliche, but also enough stupid social observations to give anyone license to believe they have what it takes to be the next great comedy writer. All of this great self indulgence is brought right into the framework of a stupid commerical application that has you put your own photos onto the face of Chuck in cool action poses, like "diving" away from unseen enemies. What fun. Not only does this set up not usually work because of the framing of most photos, but who would really care if it did?
2. Boob Party
It almost begs the question as to why I would really have to explain why Boob Party is a bad iPhone application. Boob Party, as the title indicates, is a series of topless photos with the nipples starred out. This is mixed with constant requests to upgrade to paid versions. Each person who takes a look at Boob Party can find their own reason to tear apart the ad executives that thought up this idiocy. If you came for naked pictures you will be severely angered by the lack of exposure and stock photos of silicone and airbrushing. Other people will simply wonder why something like this gets past the Apple censors while the average iPhone developer has to jump over the Berlin wall just to make a buck.
3. Pocket Heater
Just from the sound of the name you begin to kind of question what we are looking at. Pocket Heater is labeled as a "heater" application for your iPhone. Yes, that is exactly what it sounds like. The App Store lists this as a piece of software that will turn your touch screen into a space heater, but aptly reports that you do not have to be worried about breaking your iPhone. Of course you won't since it is not real. Pocket Heater simply gives off the image of a glowing portable heater. The purpose of this? As it lists in the Pocket Heat information page it does "utilize a special placebo effect to make you think you are getting warmer." Fantastic. What makes this even better is that it costs money.
4. Twitter Applications
Twitter is one of the only significant social networking services to foster out its function to a host of different developers that can each bring their own interpretation. Do we end up with a host of unique twists on an original design? No. Instead we get a host of mediocre applications that simply highlight a single aspect of Twitter instead of trying to actually build on the original design. Tweetery will give you the ability to mute people's tweets without actually choosing to un-follow them. A service like that is definitely worth the $1.99 price tag. The only thing worse than this flurry of pay applications is the series of variances on the word Twitter we seem to get in their titles.
5. Corporate Applications
Even into January we see that the only really notable iPhone applications available at the iTunes' App Store seem to be those from corporate institutions that have the financial backing to do so. These companies do not actually have to see any financial benefit directly from the the application as they are really just a way to extend their brand image even farther. This strengthens monolithic multinationals even further and marginalizes new iPhone application developers that actually want to bring something new to the table. If Apple really wants the iPhone to be the wave of the future they need to put the real tools in the hand of basement developers bringing real creativity to mobile technology. Corporations have resources to develop something cool and innovative and
almost all brand application fail at that task and they develop just
another mediocre iphone app.