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The Planet of the Apps: The Good, The Bad, and The Funny

By Danny Murphy 
Courtesy of Flickr

There seem to be apps for nearly everything these days. In 2015, there were over 1.6 million apps available for Android and over 1.5 million available for iPhone. Over 1000 apps are submitted every day to the Apple’s App Store. In all likelihood, apps are being created for Android at the same rate or faster. Welcome to The Planet of the Apps. 
Apps are ostensibly created to help users of the app in some way. However, there’s another part of the app story that many users are blissfully unaware of. When you sign up for an app you have to agree to the provider’s terms of service, which are in fine print that nobody ever reads. Generally, the terms include an agreement that the provider can collect, use, and sell data based on your use of the app. The data gets crunched so that the provider, or whoever buys the data, can determine what products and services it can send very targeted ads to you about. 
Social networks are very good at collecting data and they are getting better at using it all the time. Capitalizing on personal data is lucrative for companies which have that capability.  When you sign up for a social network, you are asked questions concerning everything from your age and sex, to your likes, dislikes, movies and books you have seen and read, photos, videos and more.  Then you are encouraged to share even more personal information on a daily basis. Finally, you are prompted to tell friends and family about the network. This is the essence of social networking. 
So, what kinds of apps are being created?
Good Apps
Many apps are doing good in the world. For example, there are several related to healthcare and prescriptions that seem to make sense.
CareZone claims to be “The easiest way for you and your family to manage medications and doctor's instructions.” Keeping track of medications can be challenging, especially for people who take lots of meds. CareZone has lots of positive reviews.
Medisafe claims it can help to “Keep yourself and loved ones safe and never forget to take your meds again with Medisafe, the app tested by pharmacists.” The Medisafe mission is to give people the tools, support and information they need to take their medications the way they're supposed to. Like CareZone, Medisafe has lots of positive reviews.
Blink Health tells users they can “Use Blink Health to save up to 85% on your prescriptions at virtually every U.S. pharmacy.” This app has no membership fees and no monthly premiums. You simply pay for the needed medications.
Bad Apps
Some apps don’t seem to make much sense. Here are a few examples.
Courtesy SMTH
Send Me to Heaven records how high you can throw your phone. There’s a global leaderboard for the highest throws. Send me to Heaven is no longer available on iPhone. Apparently Apple decided it wasn’t a good idea to encourage behavior that could damage devices. However, it’s still available on Android.
Tweetpee was a wearable app developed by Huggies. It had a sensor which sent a tweet to the parent when the child urinated and needed the diaper changed. The parent could also retweet the wonderful news - #Juniortinkled! - but who in the world would do that? It seems like a bit much and it might not have caught on. It was in the testing phase in 2013 and does not appear to be available currently.
I am Rich was created with the sole purpose of showing people that you could afford it. Developer Armin Heinrich made the app in 2008. It did absolutely nothing and was priced at $999.99, the highest price allowed in the app store. I Am Rich was listed in Apple’s App Store on August 5, 2008. In just a few hours, 8 people purchased the app. Apple removed I Am Rich from the store shortly thereafter. They also gave refunds to two users who claimed they had purchased it by mistake. The app is now available on Android and it is free! That takes pointless to a whole other level.
The Most Useless App Ever claims to show how useless an app can be. It also invites users to try out the most useless widget ever, for a complete experience of uselessness. There’s even a useless counter to count up how useless the application is and for how many people.
The Most Expensive Android Application/Widget is for people who have lots of money and don’t know how to spend it all. Like I am Rich and the Most Useless App Aver, this one does very little other than present itself to the user or to anyone the user wants to impress.
Funny Apps

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Cheezburger is one of the most popular humor sites on the internet. It claims to have more than 10 million visitors per month. The Cheezburger app is popular as well. The app lets you browse videos, images, jokes, comics, and other hilarious content. Lately, some of the reviews have been less than glowing. Some users write that it, “Used to be a good app.”
Food Battle is a parody of every tap-and-play, cute game on Android. Your mission is to kill deadly donuts that have taken your friends and family hostage. It has been downloaded over a million times. Some users say that it is a pleasant change from Angry Birds or Candy Crush.
Surgeon Simulator allows users to play a doctor who has no intention to save patients. You can play as an ER surgeon or a dentist. If destroying the lives of people who put their lives under your care is appealing to you, this could be the game for you. Currently, there is an invitation on the home page to “Perform a heart transplant on Trump and cast your vote.”
Lord of the Apps
With all the apps now available, it’s probably not easy to keep them all organized and up to date. That gives me an idea for a new app that I might create. Lord of the Apps – One app to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them.  
Apps can be useful and fun. However, before users sign up for any app, they should consider the price of admission. Usually, that involves the collection of data about you and your habits, and then the use of or sale of that data for marketing and advertising. You should never forget that the ultimate purpose of most apps is not to help the user. The ultimate purpose of most apps is to generate revenue for the developers and distributors of the app. Keeping that in mind will help you to decide whether or not you want an app.
In this article, I have discussed Apps: The Good, The Bad, and The Funny. I’ve also discussed the ultimate purpose of apps which is usually to generate revenue for the developers and the distributors. Users should be aware of that before signing up for a new app.
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Danny Murphy is the Lead Blogger at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also the author of Humor 101: How to Tell Jokes for Power, Prestige, Profit, and Personal Fulfillment which is available from Amazon on Kindle.

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  1. Usually I do not read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very nice article.

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  2. Intresting breakdown, another one good app is Appotek. It is also a pill reminder.