The Worst of the Worst
When it comes to applications, the iPhone has it all. Want to control your TV? There's an app for that. Want to find the nearest Chinese restaurant? There's an app for that. Want to record your bowel habits and share them with your friends? Yep, there's an app for that, too. A program called Poop the World somehow squeezed its way into Apple's iPhone App Store this month. For $1.99, the app combines the iPhone's GPS power with your own notes to create a public diary of your private business.
Dumb? Sure. Pointless? Of course. But surprising? Not at all. I hate to be a party pooper, but let's face it: Crappy apps are becoming commonplace on the iPhone. For every Pandora or Remote, there's a Poop the World or a Pull My Finger lurking right around the corner.
So which are the worst of the worst? Narrowing them down was tough, but we've dug up 15 of the most painfully pointless and just plain dumb programs the App Store has to offer. We're counting only apps that are currently available--selections that have been banned are another story altogether.
(Want better apps that those in this slideshow? Let us do the work for you. Be sure to check out the new PC World iPhone App Guide to find apps--vetted by editors--that are both fun and useful. For instance, create customized e-mail postcards with your own photos by using RogueSheep's Postage. Or get seriously organized with Appigo's ToDo.)
If you're too lazy to eat right and work out, FatBurner2K is just the app for you--provided, that is, that you're also incredibly gullible.
FatBurner 2K claims to "turn your iPhone into the gym that works on your terms." (Those terms, we assume, are watching "Roseanne" reruns while eating jelly doughnuts.) FatBurner's secret: The app makes your iPhone vibrate. Apparently, that tiny vibration, placed upon your massive belly, will magically transform you from Mr. Jiggles to Mr. McConaughey.
On the plus side, that's 99 cents you won't be spending on Skittles.
Next: Hair Clinic For Man and Woman
2. Hair Clinic For Man and Woman
You can return the Rogaine--your iPhone holds the power to keeping your hair looking good. Hair Clinic For Man and Woman claims to be the "world's first mobile hair clinic system." Its makers say the app generates inaudible frequencies that "promote blood circulation around hair roots." All you have to do is move the handset around your scalp while the app sends the frequencies.
If you actually pay $8.99 for this thing, you deserve all the strange looks you'll get for rubbing your shiny phone on your shiny (and, sorry, still balding) head.
Next: Kiss Me
3. Kiss Me
Who doesn't want to put a germ-ridden cell phone up to his mouth? With Kiss Me, you can do that--and get a meaningless rating of your kissing ability at the same time. The 99-cent app asks you to peck a pair of lips displayed on the touchscreen, and then it gives you a 1 to 10 rating based on "how much time and attention you put into your kiss."
Tongue not recommended.
If rating your smooching skills isn't enough, a new app called Passion promises to judge how good you are at going all the way. Passion packs the competition into coitus, offering to measure your performance and lay out how well you lay down. The full grading formula remains under the covers, but Passion's programmers say the app uses the iPhone's microphone and accelerometer to determine your score.
Of course, the fact that no man has ever actually used the program with a woman in the room makes it hard to tell if the app really works.
Next: Sexy Girl Talk
5. Sexy Girl Talk: Sexy Alphabet Deluxe
For the lonely man with a linguistic fetish, Sexy Girl Talk is the perfect companion. The app allows you to listen to the letters of the alphabet read aloud "in a sexual and sophisticated way." And lest you think this is some amateur effort, a "professional voice model"--yes, voice model--speaks the sultry ABCs.
I'm guessing that the same dudes who use the Passion app also keep this one handy.
Flying into first place for the most asinine app of the bunch, HangTime measures just how high you can throw your fancy AT&T phone. 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.
Next: Rate a Fart 2.0
7. Rate a Fart 2.0
Paging Terrance and Phillip: Your application is ready. Rate a Fart 2.0 brings flatulence and friends together in a truly disturbing fashion. The slightly bloated app lets you listen to a library of more than 700 gas expulsions. And, fittingly, it asks you to record and submit the sounds of your own, uh, musical compositions.
Is this what the Phantom of the Opera had in mind when he sang about "The Music of the Night"?
Next: UK Payphone
8. UK Payphone
Question: When you're actively using an iPhone, what do you definitely not need?
Answer: A public pay phone.
Going through a little Q&A session like that might've been helpful for the developers of UK Payphone, an iPhone app that lets you search for the nearest pay phone while in the United Kingdom. Now if I could only find a GPS system that would direct me to the nearest cartographer, I'd be set.
Next: Drunk Sniper
9. Drunk Sniper
Target practice meets the toilet with Drunk Sniper, a program designed to let you...well...pretend to pee. The app has you tilt your phone in order to direct a yellow stream into the water. The more you splash, the fewer points you receive. And with each level, you consume more "virtual drinks," making it even tougher to hit your target.
Urinating has never been so exciting.
Next: Beer Opener
10. Beer Opener
I can best describe the problem with Beer Opener by quoting its App Store description:
"Experience the joy of opening a cold refreshing beer bottle without the inconvenience of actually consuming beer!"
Beer Opener, you see, lets you pretend to open a real-world bottle of suds: You hold your iPhone over the bottle, grab the virtual cap that pops up on the screen, and open away--without the terrible hassle of having to drink the thing.
I'll take "Missing the Point" for $500, Alex.
Next: 5 Runners-Up
We couldn't possibly fit every dumb iPhone app into a single story, but five others stood out enough to deserve at least a quick mention:
2. Hold On: See how long you can hold your finger on a button on the screen. A grueling challenge made for the same type of people who'd use FatBurner2k.
3. eShaver: Feeling a little scruffy at work? eShaver won't help with that, but it will make you look like a moron.
4. Proposal (Will You Marry Me?): A surefire way to get an immediate rejection.
5. Zips: Drag a virtual zipper-fly up and down to your heart's content. Enjoy it, as with this app in tow, you'll never be performing that action on another human.
Got more dumb apps to add to our list? Make your case in the comments section below. And check out PC World's new interactive App Guide to search for apps that won't make you want to gauge out your eyes.
(Serious about iPhone apps but don't have the time or money to check them out for yourself? We've got the answer: PC World's iPhone App Guide, where we do the work for you.)