Boomtime for tasteless iPhone apps

The Guardian
United Kingdom
May 13, 2009

By Johhny Dee

In their nine months of existence, more than 1bn iPhone applications, commonly known as “apps”, have been downloaded from Apple‘s online store. Many are useful tools to enhance everyday activities such as socialising, shopping, travelling and pretending you’re a spy; software that does smart things you never thought possible.

But among Apple’s list of the 20 bestselling apps “of all time” the biggest success story is iFart Mobile, which allows users to broadcast a flatulent parp in a variety of hilarious styles. Childish, yes, but it continues to earn the company behind it $10,000 a day. And iFart’s business triumph has not only led to a plague of trumpeting copycats but also a craze for increasingly controversial apps that are more morally questionable than a Conservative MP with a moat. Here are some of the worst offenders:

Girlfriend Tracker Polygamists and cheating boyfriends are presumably the market for this “handy” tool that allows men to calculate the menstruation cycle of their partners so they can “decide how to plan your night”.

Sound Grenade The bestseller in the “annoyance” genre of apps, it emits a high-pitched sound when opened that is designed to annoy and agitate anyone in your vicinity.

Baby Shaker Withdrawn after complaints to Apple, the game allowed players to silence a crying virtual baby by shaking their iPhone. If successful, two large red Xs appeared over the baby’s eyes.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.