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Sifting Through the Apps
It won’t take you long to come across a mediocre app when browsing through the app store. With so many to choose from and even more biased reviews from disgruntled users or trolls, how do you know which apps are really worth downloading? No one can blame you for choosing some rather useless apps, in the end.
Some apps are deceiving, though, either because they are highly overrated by users or because they suffer from artificially high accolades, courtesy of the creator’s marketing hype. Whatever the case, save your bandwidth and avoid the downloading the following apps.
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Totally Worthless Apps
Some of the worst apps are not the worst because they do not work; they are just a total waste of time.
- Hold button: No, it doesn’t put your calls or texts on hold while you take a bite of your burger at McDonald’s. The whole point is to press and hold the center button for as long as possible. Unless you are using this as an exercise in patience, do not bother wasting your time.
- Bleep button: Unless you’re the type who feels the need to talk over every cuss word in a song or movie, don’t download this app. The objective is to press the screen whenever a cuss word is about to come on the air. This produces a high-pitched beep that is just loud enough to annoy but not loud enough to cover the word. Ergo, it is pointless. Its only redeeming quality is that it includes a list of movies with the highest amounts of bad language (to date) so you can prepare your ears before watching them.
- Talking Justin Bieber: It’s one thing to be a fan of The Bieb. It’s another to have an app solely devoted to making “Justin" say whatever you want him to say, smiling, moving and hearing “special messages" when you touch his lips or heart. This is one of those “novelty apps" that you will use once and delete tomorrow.
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There is nothing worse than downloading an app with high expectations only to have those expectations dashed when it misses the mark. The following few apps are some examples.
- iGun Pro Lite: This app originally claimed that you could try out all sorts of weapons. This is true. However, you only get to “cock and fire," not actually aim at a target or see the effects of the weapon. Therefore, you can’t really test out the guns as advertised.
- Angry Birds: Despite the fact that Angry Birds is one of the top downloaded apps of all time, it still does nothing more than launch fuzzy birds at crumbling targets for high point scores. While the game got high marks initially, it certainly has plenty of haters now that it has been on the market for a while.
- Bubble Ball: This oft-recommended app gets rather frustrating after surpassing the first few levels. With few instructions on how to play as well as a rather sensitive game-playing interface, Bubble Ball really is not all its hyped up to be. If you want something similar, download Geared 2! instead.
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Downright Poor Performance
Some of the worst apps simply do not perform, period. The following two applications are some examples.
- Mood Finger Scan: You would think a screen that operated on the warmth of the human touch could read a little more into the blood flow of that touch, but evidently not. Almost any mood finger scan app is a bit off when it comes to reading your mood. In many cases, the screen reads the same regardless of your mood. Other times, it is way off from the way you are really feeling. If you want a (slightly) more accurate reading, get a mood ring.
- Mirror: Talk about redundancy fail. Like a useless DVD rewinder, there is no point in an app that simply displays the same black screen that you would see if you turned the iPod touch off. Nevertheless, that is what mirror apps are all about. Sure, some of them display borders around the edges so you’re looking into what seems like a framed mirror, but don’t rely on it for putting on your mascara at the last minute.
So how might you avoid downloading some of these poor apps? First off, do not simply check the star rating given to each game – check the user comments as well. If they are not trolling (i.e., just posting “This app stinks, download this-unrelated-app instead"), they may offer insight as to why the app does not perform well, or if it crashes when you’re using it. Read if the users say the app is a prank (like certain mirror apps) so you are not snookered into thinking it actually works.
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My own experience with apps and the app store
Product images from the manufacturer