Some free iPhone applications and games just miss the mark, usually because they are actually giving you something that you didn't think you were downloading. Here are some applications and games that may be for you, but possibly not for the general iPhone going public.
Since the earliest days of the iPhone original there have
been a slew of free iPhone apps, and pay ones, dedicated to giving you options
for background images. This seems a
little illogical for a number of different reasons. First, the iPhone only really gives you one
brief location for a background image.
This is the start up screen and you only look at it for a few marginal
seconds at a time. Second, the iPhone itself
gives you the option to pull images from almost any location you can think
of. You can take you own picture to use
as an iPhone background, or you can go online in Safari to get almost any
picture you like. This is not to mention
the screenshot that allows you take an image of anything on your phone and use
it as iPhone wallpaper. None the less,
there are still iPhone wallpaper applications getting released every week and
hitting the top charts on the both the pay and free iPhone application
lists. 3D Backgrounds, a 'cleverly'
named new free iPhone application, does this exactly as you would expect. Inside 3D Background you will see a number of
different iPhone backgrounds, none of which are 3D except in that they are done
in some sort of computer generation.
Some of the iPhone backgrounds are more interesting than others, and
there are a lot here to choose from.
Over all 3D Backgrounds is a little annoying to look through as you have
to go through page by page and it can take a little while to load up. There is really no reason to avoid 3D
Backgrounds, or iPhone wallpaper applications in general, but it does not prove
incredibly useful. Hey, at least it's
Knife Dancing continues the stupid tradition of offering up a
free iPhone game that is really an incomplete version of a pay iPhone
game. Knife Dancing does this in an
interesting way in that it asks you to pay for different parts of the 'free' iPhone
game individually, which actually add up fast.
This would not even be quite as offensive if the base concept of this iPhone
game was even remotely original or interesting.
Knife Dancing is a rendition of that classic prison game where you slam
a knife between your fingers as fast as you can without cutting yourself and
bleeding out. You start with only the
ability to use the Kids setting, which is composed of a green crayon. After that you have to pay for different
utensils, such as a blue ball point pen, a dull butter knife, and a 'man's'
knife labeled with a line from Crocodile Dundee. Each of these cost $0.99, which more than the
application is worth. Even if Knife Dancing
was a free iPhone application it would not be breaking any records and it would
be easy to advise against. As an elevator
to a pay iPhone application you cannot help but feel a little attacked knowing
that this is just simply an advertisement for something you really don't want
in the first place.
Fully branded iPhone applications are more common than you
would ever have believed coming in, but now it feels like a mall when browsing
the iTunes' App Store. Part of the
success of corporate branded iPhone applications is that they have the money to
create incredibly detailed and useful free iPhone applications, especially
since they are simply extending their brand image and do not really need to
make money with the free iPhone application.
Now we have Nike iD
which continues that illusion that 'anybody could be a Nike developer' and that
every customer has a say in what Nike produces.
Unfortunately, this illusion of democratic involvement is just that: an
illusion. But this does not mean that
is not without a little bit of fun.
Very, very mild amounts of fun.
The basic premise for Nike iD
is that you take a basic profile picture of something and then assign a basic
color pattern to it. Then the
application will search and find different shoe designs that you may want. The reality, once you get through all of the
basic intricacies of Nike iD
is that it really is an inventive way to link you to purchasing centers for
Nike shoes. Nothing more. Inside you
have options like Shop NIKEID, Find a NIKEID Studio, look at the New Zoom Cush,
and more. There is nothing creative in
these functions independent of a sales function. This puts Nike ID Mobile low on the list of
free iPhone applications in general. If it
was just a strait forward shopping application this would be passable, and at
least honest. Here you walk in expecting
something of a game and come out with a bill for new shoes. This is not the direction iPhone applications should
be going, and Apple needs to begin regulating this before it gets out of