Jim Louderback

December 30, 2009

The Worst 5 Mobile Apps of the Year!

Filed under: Commentary,Technology Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jim @ 1:02 pm

2009 saw a land grab the likes of which we haven’t seen since the days of the railroads. Greedy software companies and websites tried to cash in on the cellphone app store hype, and released tens of thousands of new programs for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

Many of them were quite good, but some of them were atrocious. And the dreck wasn’t solely the province of no-name companies either. Our five worst applications for 2010 come from some household names. So here’s the list, and don’t miss the video from our expert team of reviewers at App Judgment, they saw thousands of programs this year, and spent hours fighting over who would make the worst of the year!

Photoshop.com Mobile for the IPhone: About the best thing you can say about this application was that it was free. Everything else was disappointing, from the interface to the functionality. There are far better photo apps for your phone, from a variety of lesser known companies. Photoshop may lead the world on the PC and the Mac, but it sucks on the iPhone.

Worst 5 list continues below

SEE WHY THESE FIVE APPS ARE SO DREADFUL!

Hold On! : Sure, many 2009 apps provided mindless entertainment. And that’s what this iPhone app aspired to do as well. But it failed utterly, completely and spectacularly – unless you’re prone to repeating stupifying tasks for days on-end to make the Guiness Book of World Records. The point of the program? Hold down an on-screen red dot for as long as you can. What a waste of .99.

Will You (Marry Me)? : Love was decidedly *not* in the air when we looked at this program The premise? Rather than buying a real ring, the iphone app simply displayed a jewel box opening up to reveal a digital diamond inside. One of our one reviewers even called it the anti-Viagra, and she was being too kind.

QIK: Let’s say you build up a fantastically successful company that lets anyone stream video from their cellphones to the internet, and through it to anyone in the world. Your first program runs on Nokia phones – nice to look at, but hardly world-beaters when it comes to apps and users. So you port it to the iPhone. You would expect it to, well, allow iPhone users to stream video to the world from wherever they are, wouldn’t you? We did. But it didn’t. Another “win” for AT&T’s ticky-tack 3G network. What a waste of pixels.

Shead Spreet: The name wasn’t the only mixed up part of this Android application. As smart phones became both business tools and entertainment devices, a wide variety of business-oriented programs launched. This one claimed to put a full-featured spreadsheet in your pocket, but failed miserably. With bad import features, poor data entry, and lame customization, it brought to mind the worst of Visicalc, Lotus 1-2-3, Quattro Pro and early Excel. Heck, even Windows Mobile worked better than this crapplet. Sometimes free really is too expensive.

It wasn’t all bad. There were tons of great apps released this year too. Tomorrow we’ll put up our list of the five best apps of the year, including a surprising number one!

1 Comment »

  1. Jim (& other blogosphere gurus + misc internet riffraff),

    I’m about to rip this video article, but first:

    Thanks for your awesome blog & Revision3 and so on. Please hire me to work at Revision3, I’m a bad-ass freelance video producer and I have a bunch of hilarious stuff online waiting to be launched into the mainstream via your station.
    (see youtube.com/rekzkarz or http://www.usarantz.com)

    OK, now to the ripping:
    These are SO CLEARLY NOT THE WORST APPS.
    Why?

    1 – Sounds like these apps work. Many iPhone apps don’t work, some even crash your phone. What sounds worse to you?

    2 – those apps might be stupid, but are they truly “the worst”? Nope. NOPE NOPE NOPE. There are so many apps that are 100x worse. You didn’t mention any Zynga games. or other ‘games’ that are constantly trying to sell people stuff in order to play. Or how about ‘Genius! Lite’? This thing sucks with 2x exclamation points. How about the various non-working Craigslist reader apps? Or DragonDictation, a speech to text software which reads (on my iPhone) at around ~ 50% accuracy?
    I admit, I have not been researching for your show, but I am stunned that THIS is the list of worst apps. I’ve dloaded, run, and deleted worse apps in one day than this list here. (Which explains why you want to hire me — b/c I’m geeky AND also edgy, obviously (AND I like parentheses).)

    3 – Photoshop for iPhone is ‘the worst’? Why? The complaint here was that Photoshop didn’t blow anyone away. Um, so what? It’s free, people know the brand is reliable, and it exists. Hey, that’s a good start. I have to argue strongly w/anyone on your team even claiming this is a bad app. It’s fine, I have it, I might use it someday — if I ever edit a photo on my iPhone! Probably won’t as I’m an a/v pro and I claim desktop superiority.
    Other issues w/list – I haven’t used QIK, but saying that it lacks a feature that made it (really) cool on Nokia before & now they are charging for the cool feature on iPhone makes it ‘the worst’ app, well, um… Has anyone tried ‘LifeCast’? This is a life-blogger which is worse already, crashes, and frequently doesn’t work — and loses your blog entry. How’s THAT for suck?

    Your crew has missed the fact that iPhone apps generally suck AND you pay for them, sometimes they are free and suck, and oftentimes you pay for them and they suck AND they crash your phone (or just don’t work). Maybe they should have mentioned that deadly ‘bomb’ apps were not in the running, or better yet post a quick list of those apps on a running sidebar?

    So again, please hire me and I’ll fix this video and any other videos that I can work on. I’m an anal-retentive creative genius with ADHD that has video skills, audio skills (listen to this -> http://threewaysmedia.com/songs/moneystuffv3.mp3), and is also talented on camera (see youtube.com/rekzkarz)

    In summary, you’ve got a cool looking video here — but I can’t give it even 2/5 stars for content. (And really, I want to give you 5+ stars while I appeal to you for a gig on Revision3.)

    Last reason (and possibly most important) I’d be good on TV at revision3 <– my name is Ari and I have a 3 tattoo’d on my right arm.

    How random is that?

    PEACE – Ari
    rekzkarz.com

    Comment by rekzkarz — January 3, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

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