Usually, in this column we like to highlight the best new iPhone applications that will save you some money or make your life easier. However, this week we’re taking a look at the other side of the fence with the 15 all-time worst iPhone applications. Whether they be ill-conceived, broken or just plain huge wastes of money, you can be sure of one thing: They're not worth downloading.
Here, at the start of the list, you’ll find apps that are not atrociously bad, but still worth avoiding. The iSpend app has a decent enough interface for tracking your simple expenses. But, for the high cost of $9.99, there are plenty of cheaper applications available that do the exact same thing for less.
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, but this is exactly the kind of thing that will draw an unneeded “tourist” attention to you on the mean city streets. You’re better off avoiding this, unless you WANT to attract muggers.
This app mimics the same idea behind those risqué, “turn the pen upside down to see a naked lady” novelty pens. But here’s the catch: 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.
This simply keeps track of how many beers you drink. I’m considering this a personal finance app because it’s a lot cheaper than getting a DUI after forgetting how many beers you’ve had throughout the course of the night. On the other hand, I’m considering this one of the worst apps because you can probably accomplish the same task using your fingers or with the aid of a pen, which you can use to tally marks on your hand. There’s also the obvious problem that the more beers you drink, the less likely you are to remember to tap the app.
This modern-day snake oil application is called the PocketPainDoctor which, using the “atomic blue” or “atomic red" lights, purports to either relieve any aches and pains or keep you wide awake and at attention. Needless to say, it’s just a colored light that does nothing and costs $2.
The iNap@Work app plays a series of recorded typing, clicking, stapling or pencil sharpening sound effects to fool your coworkers into thinking you're being productive. Meanwhile, you're fast asleep at your desk enjoying a post-lunch nap. Sounds like a novel idea, however, the series of sound effects are so strangely varied as to seem utterly unbelievable and the app will probably blow your cover. Thumbs down due to the possibility that this app will actually get you fired.
Simply put, using corny computer-generated pick-up lines in real life situations is just a bad idea. It really doesn’t matter that this app is completely free, because samples lines like, “If you were a booger, I’d pick you first” are neither funny nor effective.
Sure, this might seem like a helpful app for concerned parents. It’s supposed to give parents a list of warning signs that indicate their children are doing drugs. However, with general items like “grades dropping” and “missed curfews,” I’m not sure this is going to be very helpful. In addition, “possessing drug paraphernalia” is also on the list. I thought that one would go without saying. The real reason I hate this app is because of the main image. I’m pretty sure that the “teen” pictured in the ad is at least 35 years old and not much younger than his "parents."
This creepy application allows iPhone users to keep tabs on any registered sex offenders in their area using GPS navigation and publicly available address information. Although this is a very popular app, and without delving into the safety issues of possible vigilantism, this information is freely available online, yet the developers found it necessary to charge $1.99 for the privilege of downloading this application.
I’m all for wacky, fun, free applications, but the SimStapler is just a waste of time. All it does is make a faux-stapling sound when clicked. And for some reason it looks like the interface was pulled from an original 1980s Apple Lisa computer.
This very cheap-looking application allows you to input the name of your loved one and a short message. Then feast your eyes on the very Clip Art-like graphics and lame-looking ring box that pops up. It costs 99 cents, but honestly, if you’re counting on this to impress someone you want to marry, you have other, larger problems than trying to save some money.
It’s just a video of a candle flickering! That’s it. Supposedly, it slowly melts in real time, but to be honest, I didn’t have the patience to find out. What’s the worst part of this app though? It costs $4.99! From a personal finance point of view, you’d be better off going down to the local 99-cent store and purchasing a real candle to watch.
This application bills itself as one of the ultimate productivity increasers. That is, if trying to press a button for as long as you possibly can counts as “increasing” productivity. Yes, that’s all this application does. You press the button and a timer keeps track of how long you keep your finger in place. Huh?
I have to give some credit to the iFart application. You press the button and it makes various loud flatulence sounds. It has also become one of the all-time most popular downloads in the App Store and it’s a simple and clever concept. However, none of that means it not a complete waste of money. Sorry to burst your (ahem) bubble, iFart lovers. But at 99 cents, I’m still not buying it.
This application was created by a German developer as a shameless status symbol. For the whopping cost of $999.99 (the maximum allowable cost for an app), a user could download this red gem-decorated app that did absolutely nothing other than sit on your home screen and look pretty. Apparently eight people actually forked over the thousand dollars for this thing before Apple inexplicably removed it from the App Store. Wow. Just wow.