Recently Fortune picked the 10 dumbest iPhone apps for 2009. In response, I thought we should pick ten search phrases that are more or less guaranteed to produce a list of horrible applications.
Our list follows. Are they the worst possible search terms? Probably not. But they're certainly guaranteed to return subquality results in your App Store search. (Yes, it is the weekend.)
So join in and add your favorite (bad) search phrases to the comments. And remember, unless a search phrase returns at least three or four really appallingly crappy applications, it does not qualify for the title.
- jiggle: While not as salacious as you might first imagine, this search does bring up both Wobble iBoobs!! [sic], iJiggles Your Mom, and Bikini Fart.
- pong: We love pong, but we hope we've moved past its retro appeal as far as the App Store goes. Current pong search results include Beer Pong (in several forms), iBlow Ping-Pong Ball (from CLapps!), and Cow Pong Beef.
- gross: No, we're not talking about items that come 144 per case. An App Store search for 'gross' returns such winners as 101 Gross Sounds, Gross Facts, and (strangely enough) Speed Muscles MD, a game that challenges you to point to specific muscle groups on a cadaver. (Okay, the reviews for this last one aren't bad but the idea is just freaky unless you're a medical student.)
- stupid: What did the great F. Gump say on this topic? One is what one does? Or at least something like that. A search for stupid returns an absolute bonanza of applications from developers who clearly have a sense of humor. Titles include Make a Face, Stupidity Test, The Idiot Test, Are You Stupider than a Kindergartner and the $0.99 A Stupid Button, which says "That's Stupid" after you have already bought and paid for it.
- annoy: From dog whistlers, to random noise, to apps targeted to irritating our furry friends, bad App Store entries abound. There's a "Wooo!" Button app, a Free Turkey Calls app, and even one called Annoyance!. The exclamation point is courtesy of the developer.
- jared: I know it's a little disingenuous for me to include Jared as a search term, given how I love that insanely stupid little app. But after searching for it on the App Store and finding Top Sexiest Men-Jared Leto, Screen Cleaner (from Jared Judd), SupaFan for Supernatural Fans, and The Book of Mormon Plants and Animals (no insult to LDS members, it just seems like a poor choice for an iPhone app), I knew I had to add this phrase to the list.
- calm: I don't care how much you love your iPhone, it's not going to deliver a light spa day, provide ultimate relaxation or iSoothe your soul. I'm sure those apps are well intended but I'm also sure they're...well, see the title of this piece.
- pickup: Without being overly insensitive, if you're carrying around an iPhone full of pickup lines, you've probably missed the point. Standouts include Lovetricity, iWingman, and (yes, you knew this was coming), Coed Spring Break
- strip: If you're sensing a theme, well so am I. Soft pr0n seems to sell a lot of iPhone applications. Items on this search include iStrip (including its Sexy Pen edition), Poker vs Girls Strip Poker, and of course some sort of Hooters app. Sheesh.
- fart: Yes, no worst search list would be complete without a search for "fart", including such marvelous cultural treats as Fart Shaker Deluxe, Juicy Fart, Fart Lighter, and Atomic Fart. With about 500 fart-related apps in the store, it's a benchmark of goofy that other app categories can only aspire to meet.
So, that's our list. Now let's see your picks for the worst searches in the App Store.