The iPhone App Store Scams

Banning a Pulitzer-winning cartoonist's app? OK. Force the change of editorial content of a fashion magazine because it shows some lingerie? Check. Approve stupid applications that are obvious scams? Of course! The latest one is called Less Cigarette!

Less Cigarette! is an iPhone app that wants to help you quit smoking. That seems like a lofty goal. But how can it achieve this? Does it use psychological advice? No. Does it use videos showing rotten lungs? No. Does it use some diary feature to keep track of your progress? No. This is what it does:

Less Cigarettes is designed based on the Eastern philosophy on compatibility and incompatibility of the Five Elements Theory. Another theory that forms the basis of Less Cigarette is the theory describing that the inherent vibration and frequency of each color affect people, animal, plant and objects.

The wavelength of the color that is incompatible with cigarettes works to emphasize the unpleasant taste of the cigarette, making it easier for you to stay away from smoking.

Yes. The developers of this application claim that their app changes the taste of cigarettes using different light colors. Truly magical indeed.

How can Apple approve this kind of applications? It's not the only case. There are many others. Another app promised to remove warts ($3) from your skin using the same method (changing your skin's flavor too, I presume). Another one claims that it can detect if a watermelon is good or not ($1). And so on. There's even a site dedicated to this crapps.

What's next? An app that can tell you if an avocado is ripe by shaking the iPhone next to it? One that can fix erectile disfunction with glow and sound waves? One that can detect and heal tumors with the camera and vibrate functions?

The Less Cigarrete! app costs one dollar, which is one dollar too expensive. No matter how cheap these apps are—even if they were free—they would always still be too expensive. Apple argues that they can't afford to stain their image with applications that show nudity, even a brief glimpse of it. However, they have no problem in turning their app store in a mail order version of the News of the World. It seems like a case of twisted values or, at least, very confused policies. [Krapps]