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Exactly why do we need an app for that?
For every awesome app in the iOS App Store, there seem to be five useless ones. Either they don’t deliver as promised or they deliver something so bizarre or gross that it begs the question: Why would anyone ever need this? Fake virtual girlfriends, pointless games, sheep counters, and everything in between—the App Store has it all. Here are 15 off-the-wall apps for the iPhone and iPod touch that really shouldn’t be in the App Store.
If you have a hard time making decisions, why not let someone else make them for you? Kawaii Assistant (free) is a virtual Japanese personal assistant called Suki. You can ask her a yes or no question; play Rock, Paper, Scissors with her; and give her gifts. She'll speak to you entirely in Japanese, which will be translated for you on the bottom of the screen. Though Suki may well be popular in Japan and some other places, many other people will likely find the app truly bizarre and more than a little creepy.
Of the many problems in my life, I can honestly say that drifting off to sleep is not one of them. But for those of you who do suffer the bane of insomnia, perhaps your iPhone can help. Simply start up Sheep Counter (free) and watch as one sweet little fluffy lamb after another floats serenely across the screen. Are you feeling sleepy yet?
Some physical things just don't translate well into the virtual world. One of those things is a pint of refreshing, ice-cold beer—a virtual pint somehow doesn't have the same effect after a hard day's work. However, this is just what the Carling iPint (free) is. The app will pour you a perfect pretend pint, which you can then pretend to drink. As you tilt your iPhone toward your mouth, the beer will disappear as if you were actually glugging the stuff back. The Carling iPint is currently unavailable in the U.S. iTunes Store, due to a legal battle between the creators of another virtual beer, so you'll need to download it from the U.K. iTunes Store.
If there is a more pointless way to spend time than playing Hold On ($1), I'm currently unable to think of one. To start, you press the button on the iPhone screen and keep it there. A timer starts as you hold on ... and on ... and on. The game is over when you finally give in and let go.
Virtual Zippo Lighter
If you enjoy waving your lighter around at Bon Jovi concerts, but are annoyed with the light’s short lifespan and knack for singeing your thumb, the Virtual Zippo Lighter (free) could be the app for you. Open it, spark it up, and wave it singe-free for as long as your iPhone battery life lasts. You may also find it useful for lighting virtual cigarettes (also available in the App Store).
Ingrown Toenail Remover
Despite this being an educational tool designed to help people, this is probably the grossest thing I've ever seen in the App Store. Though probably no explanation is necessary, Ingrown Toenail Remover ($1) shows ultra-realistic simulations detailing how to remove bits of your misshapen toenails. If you have a strong stomach and you're feeling brave, this is apparently something you can usually do yourself. Personally, I'd still rather go to a doctor. Just looking at the pictures make me feel faint.
If you feel like your life isn’t full of enough annoyances, you can always download Sounds Annoying (free) to remind you exactly what you're missing out on and just how it could be worse. Choose from a series of noises to play, including a baby crying (great for flying long distance), a modem connecting (perfect for retro irritation), and a car alarm going off (bound to annoy anyone, anywhere, anytime).
Human to Cat Translator
The problem with cats is they just don't listen. Luckily, the Human to Cat Translator (free) was created to address this untenable situation. Simply press the Record button and say what you want to convey to your cat, and the app will translate and play it back in meows. I tried out the translator on my own feline friend, Athena, who listened to my human-to-cat translated message with great interest, her left ear cocked, but didn't move from her seat on the sofa. Whether this is because she didn't understand the command or because she simply chose to ignore it, we may never know.
There's certainly no shortage of apps that add silly effects to your photos, but Dog Booth ($1) has to be one of the weirdest. First, pick from a variety of hounds—including the trusty labrador, the cutesy shih tzu, and the much-maligned rottweiler. Then, line up your face with the dog's face and take a picture. The results, as you can see, are terrifying.
Back in the nineties, motivational posters were all the rage. You know the type: They usually featured a photo of someone doing something marvelous—like climbing Mt. Everest—against a black background with a motivational meditation word followed by a quote underneath. iDemotivational Posters (free) pokes fun at all things motivating and shows funny spin-offs of this genre. You can even create your own. These images may not inspire you to do greater things, but they will make you laugh.
The delightful Bubble Wrap for iPhone (free) assures that you don't have to wait for someone to send you something fragile (read: broken) in the post to get your bubble-popping fix. You can choose from a variety of different colors for your bubbles and zoom in and out to get them just the perfect size. Pop them in an endless popping frenzy, or choose from three different mini-games to play: Blitz Pop, Pop 500, and Pop All. It’s utterly pointless, yet oddly satisfying.
Forgot to shave your stubble? Not to worry, just fire up the kooky iShaver Pro (free), and your iPhone will turn into a virtual electronic shaver that will vibrate and buzz just like the real thing. Virtual hair will even fall from the screen. The only thing it won't actually do is, of course, give you a smooth shave. It’s brilliantly useless. In a strange marketing twist, the demo version seems to be $1 and the Pro version is free. Cunning.
Ever wonder if your friends are as loyal as they seem? Fake Friends ($1) is here to set things straight. Use this camera app to take a picture of a friend or group of friends, and then look at the image to see who has your back and who will throw you under the bus. The imposter friends will have a large 'FAKE!' scribbled across their forehead. How the app determines who’s real and who isn’t, we may never know. Though the app description pings its detections as “fairly accurate,” a warning proclaims that the app is actually “for entertainment only and does not represent a real detector of friendship.” Maybe your iPhone is really the fake friend here.
With most physical paper and printouts having gone by the wayside, sometimes I just miss the feeling of stapling forms together and filing mountains of paperwork. If you can relate, SimStapler (free) is the game for you. The app shows a pixelated red stapler on an older Apple desktop background, and all you have to do is press the stapler. Each press earns you a point, and you’re rewarded with a satisfying stapler “click” sound. How many virtual paper stacks can you get through?
How many times a day do you go number two? I'm only asking because I care. Rather, iPoop (free) cares. This app will tell you if it thinks you have any health problems or might need to change your diet based on what you tell it. One would think that you probably wouldn't need an app to tell you if something's wrong, but just in case...