On the street
With the smart phone revolution came a deluge of invaluable and ingenious applications (colloquially and obnoxiously known as “apps”). These wonders of software engineering allow us to conveniently navigate the modern world, stay informed on the fly and generally make our lives more efficient. But in this glut of apps, for every Google Maps or Weather Channel app, there are dozens upon dozens of time wasters and flatulence generators. Useless apps far outnumber useful apps. Here are but 10 of those that can be counted as utterly useless.
Toilet Sound Machine Extreme (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, $0.99)
An app that makes toilet noises when your device detects a loud noise or a specific movement. Only useful for flushing a dollar down the crapper (the sound of which this app recreates).
Ochocinco — Official App (iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android, free)
An app devoted solely to Cincinnati Bengals player and “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Chad Ochocinco. Perhaps the most technologically advanced vanity project ever devised, this app provides you with everything you didn’t want to know about the NFL’s most lovable eccentric. It provides you with dating tips from Chad himself, a dictionary of Ochocinco-isms (“skinny” means “a beautiful girl”), and a Google Maps tracker that lets you know where he is at all times. It’s all very silly and all supremely useless.
Freebird (iPhone, Free)
Designed for concertgoers who don’t smoke or just forgot their Zippo, this app is simply a moving image of a flickering lighter. There are other apps with the same basic function, but they offer interactivity and realistic flame physics — you can blow out the flame through the microphone, tilt the flame, etc. Freebird isn’t burdened with any of these interesting bells and whistles. It’s not even bright enough to be used as an impromptu flashlight. Only provides a poorly animated flame to illuminate its uselessness.
SimStapler (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android, Free)
A virtual stapler. You press it 10 times and a British lady says, “Splendid!” Splendidly useless.
Whoodl (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, $0.99)
It’s described as the “Recall Names App.” From the App Store description: “You meet Dave Lux at The Ritz restaurant. You find out he is the owner. You want to remember his name for future visits to the restaurant. Hit Whoodl, Press +, type in Dave Lux. Under groups keywords, type in ‘ritz’ and hit save. Before you go back to the restaurant, launch Whoodl, key in ‘ritz,’ and Dave Lux appears in less than a second.” Yes, that’s much easier and faster than the antiquated and barbaric practice of remembering a name. Also, certainly not redundant with your phone’s contacts list. And isn’t it just as rude to look up someone’s name on your phone right in front of them? Much more useless than just saying something nonspecific like. “Hey buddy!”
IamDrunk (iPhone, Free)
Ostensibly, this app means well. You press a button that says “Wasted,” and it sends an e-mail to a designated contact asking them to come pick you up, complete with a Google Map and directions to your schnockering. But that seems like more steps than necessary when you can just call someone. And, more than likely, this app is being used primarily for booty calls with pinpoint accuracy. Maybe not so useless after all…
Farting Zombies HD (iPad, $1.99)
Farting apps are a dime a dirty dozen, with over 700 and counting on the Apple App Store. Seriously, type “fart” into the search bar on iTunes. Your computer will explode. This one is notable due to it being in “HD.” Because you really need to experience zombies farting in the highest possible definition. Uselessness in 1080p.
Zips (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, $0.99)
It’s a zipper, and when you unzip it using the touch screen, there is a photo of underwear. Or you could hide one of your own photos behind the zipper. That’s it. That’s all it does. Human ingenuity at its finest—if “finest” meant “most agonizingly useless.”
Pocket Heat (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, $0.99)
An app that used to claim it could convert the battery power of your phone into actual heat for use as a hand warmer. Recent updates now have small print stating that it does no such thing and is strictly for “entertainment.” Images of space heaters that do nothing — how entertaining. Typical user reviews in the App Store: “Lie,” “Don’t buy this crap” and “Fake.” Goes beyond useless and into scam territory.
I Am Rich (iPhone, $999.99)
The still-reigning champ of useless apps. Introduced to Apple’s App Store in 2008, I Am Rich did absolutely nothing. You paid a thousand bucks for an image of a glowing ruby. After a few curious saps purchased the app by accident, Apple pulled it from the store. Six people, however, bought it on purpose before its removal. Whoever those people are, they need to invest in an app that will help them navigate the circles of hell. Aggressively, boorishly, ostentatiously useless.