Applications answer the call for pretty much anything, including the
detection of spirits from beyond or your destination in the afterlife.
Some have called the smartphone the Swiss Army knife of the digital age. A proliferation of applications allows you to carry around tomes of reference material, a tip calculator, TV, music, current weather, news information and even a fully detailed map of the globe.
But if the smartphone really is the new digital pocket knife, then a survey of some of the more eccentric applications constitutes the toothpick, tweezers and bottle opener in the Swiss Army of the future. Following is a sampling of some of the more unusual apps; prices and availability are subject to change.
Simulated EMF Reader
The release of the Paranormal State EMF Reader coincides with the third season of A&E’s “Paranormal State.” The gag device supposedly enables the iPhone and iPod Touch to detect electromagnetic fields that apparently indicate the presence of either a spirit from the beyond or (dun dun Dun…!) a nearby power line. The application was developed by Moderati, a Bellrock Media company, and is available for free at Apple’s App Store.
When you’ve really gotta go, have no fear, AT&T R&D’s Have2P is here. The free LBS-enabled Have2P will search for the nearest restroom and provide information like whether the restroom is for patrons only, if it has a changing table and how clean it is. Have2P might not be the most exciting of applications, but it just might save you or your child from an embarrassing moment.
Voodoo! is a dark piece of freeware for Palm devices by a developer named MuddyGlass. The application features a virtual voodoo doll and a long pin. The rest is up to your own demented artistry and imagination.
If your own anatomy isn’t up to the task of producing the occasional flatulent outburst, you can now prompt your iPhone or iPod Touch to create one for you. iFart allows users to pick from 26 sounds and if installed on an iPhone, you’re invited to record your own. iFart is available in a free version and an ad-free ProVersion for $1.99. If you don’t own an iPhone or iPod Touch, may we suggest a helping of beans at every meal?
It doesn’t taste as good as a real cold one, but the iBeer app from Hottrix sure looks nice. The gag app appears to fill your iPhone or iPod Touch screen with beer. When tipped, the device appears to drain. iBeer sells for $1.99.
Another freeware application for the Palm from ESJE, HAL9000 provokes your Palm device to randomly make comments in the voice of HAL9000 from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Imagine you wake in the middle of the night to your BlackBerry saying: “The 9000 Series is the most reliable computer ever made.” Hal9000 is available at Handango.
Although it’s billed as a “productivity” application, chances are Hold On! from IMAK Creations isn’t going to help you get anything done. However, it just might strengthen perseverance. Hold On! is a simple application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Just press and hold the only button on the screen for as long as you can. The application times how long you’veheld onto the button. To some it may sound like torture, to others, well…fun? Hold On! is available for free.
Sometimes it’s the pure simplicity of an application that makes it a little odd. Perfect Circle, from Sixth Corner, is as simple as it gets. Draw a circle on the screen with your finger and this app rates it for perfection on a scale of 1-1,000. Perhaps this one will appeal to the budding artists out there. Perfect Circle sells for 99 cents.
Given the number of decision-making apps out there, it appears that all these widgets and gadgets have fried our ability to make up our own minds. A description of the application puts it this way: “Just enter all your options, give the iDecide spinner a flick with your finger, and let fate make all your decisions for you.” Given the audience that this one is aimed at, you have to wonder whether they’ll be able decide if they should buy it. iDecide from JeRM Software is available for 99 cents.
Deviled Egg-Bowl from Virtualviews.com is a standard bowling game with a twist – a mischievous devil lurks between you and a set of 10 pins that are actually deviled eggs. As strange as it may sound, EggBowl was a finalist in the BlackBerry Developer Gaming Challenge. The application sells for $7.99 at Handango.
In these hard economic times, people just aren’t buying enough consumer goods that come packaged in that irresistible bubble wrap. Perhaps that’s why Waterflea developed an application that simulates a sheet of bubble wrap. Pop as long as you like, there’s always more when you download BubbleWrap for free at the Android Market.
Ever wonder what you’ll become when you die? Your iPhone or iPod Touch can now tell you with a little help from Afterlife. Developed by Poulet Maison, Afterlife uses Symbols, Chinese Zodiac, Numerology, Astrology and Feng Shui to figure out who or what you’ll become upon your leaving this world. Probably one of the best parts about the app is that you don’t even have to believe in reincarnation for it to work; it says so right in the description: “Even if you don’t believe in reincarnation, Afterlife is the most accurate new age application with correct calculations for all the major mystical methods.” Afterlife is available for 99 cents.
Caution: Not intended for the naturally paranoid. Peepers, developed by Charles Viracola, is simply a set of bare eyeballs that follow the user’s finger around the screen. By enlisting the help of the iPhone and iPod Touch’s built-in altimeter, these peepers will also move in whatever direction you move the device. Peepers currently sells for $1.99.
Even better than playing with matches, iPyro, from neuralMuse, allows iPhone and iPod Touch users to wreak havoc with the touch of a finger. Set fire to the provided pre-loaded pictures or take your own and burn them too. At the time this article was written, iPyro was available for free for a limited time, but is originally sold for 99 cents. Depending on the type of content you choose to burn, iPyro might be good for a little healthy catharsis.
Probably the “weirdest” thing about this application for the iPhone and iPod Touch is it currently costs $3.99. From the description: “In this application, we will explain, step-by-step in a simple way, how to make delicious, crumb-coated chicken.” Relatively speaking, that’s a lot of greenbacks for a single recipe.
Medical poetry will allow you to speak like a doctor even when you have no idea what you’re talking about. The iPhone and iPod Touch application generates fake diagnosis from a database of medical terms. Next time your spouse is sick, you can diagnose them with, “Gravis Paniculitis.” Although you’ll have no idea what that exactly means, it will either give your patient piece of mind or freak them out. Medical Poetry currently sells for 99 cents.