In the gigantic Apple App Store with its vast selection of nearly 100,000 applications, there are bound to be some stinkers. Amid such a garden of delights, most of us are vulnerable to being lured into a regrettable purchase. That's just what happened to us as we hoarded apps with reckless abandon.
We've picked out 10 of those apps that initially intrigued us but ultimately disappointed us. At first glance, they seemed so wonderful, filled with such bounty and promise, but ultimately didn't hold our interest enough to get us to launch them again. Ever.
Have your own regrettable, loathsome app downloads? Spare all of us the anguish by warning us about them in the comments. Love some of the apps we didn't? We want to know! Continue reading to see our by-no-means-comprehensive rogue's gallery, and consider yourself warned:
1. Loopt (Free)
Why we downloaded it: Loopt lets me find all my friends, see where they are and what they're doing? Count me in.
Why we never went back: It turns out I don't really much care where my friends and what they're doing, and besides, none of my friends had this app. What was I going to do, spam them until they loaded it on their iPhones? Maybe I'm too old for this app. Heck, a lot of my friends don't even have iPhones.
2. Air Mouse Pro ($2.99)
Why we downloaded it: How can we resist the allure of a remote control for a computer, allowing us to sit back and surf the Web, watch movies and do anything else on a PC? Air Mouse Pro also functions as a trackpad. Sign us up!
Why we never went back: Air Mouse Pro is a solution in search of a problem. First of all, it feels awkward to use it, waving it around in the air so the cursor will move on the screen. Besides that, I have a wireless mouse in the home theater that lets me control our home theater PC. When I'm working, I'm close enough to the PC not to need a remote control. Trackpad? Pshaw. I avoid that on my laptop at all costs. Bye bye, three dollars.
3. Fake Calls ($0.99)
Why we downloaded it: It would be funny to punk my friends, making them think I'm getting calls from all manner of celebrities, fabulous babes and maybe even the President of the United States. Or perhaps people will just think I get a lot of phone calls.
Why we never went back: Maybe I'm too honest, but making people think I'm receiving phone calls that are fake is not something I've ever found the occasion to do. I suppose this could be useful in a pinch — say, when you want a good excuse to get out of the room, but I've managed to avoid getting into any such situations, so I haven't even used Fake Calls, not once. If I want to get out of the room, I'll make up my own excuses.
4. SuperMonkeyBall ($5.99)
Why we downloaded it: At the demo for worldwide developers, this looked like the most fun game ever. A cute little monkey encased inside a ball rolling on a variety of precarious platforms? Tilting the iPhone to match up with the ball and keep it from falling over the edge? How could we pass this up?
Why we never went back: While the graphics are impressive and the physics engine close to real, I found this game tedious and too difficult. Sure, I could spend a few dozen hours learning how to perfect my skills at SuperMonkeyBall, but life is too short for such trifles. In that amount of time, I could learn how to play the banjo.
5. Flick Bowling ($1.99)
Why we downloaded it: It's the number one bowling game on the App Store! And who doesn't like bowling? This Flick Bowling is going to be more fun than a barrel of SuperMonkeyBalls.
Why we never went back: I've done a lot of bowling. In fact, I live in the bowling capital of the world, Milwaukee. And let me tell you, this is not bowling. It's no fun.
6. Koi Pond ($0.99)
Why we downloaded it: Koi fish languorously lounge around a shallow pool, swimming back and forth and reacting to your touch, causing soothing ripples in the water. This has got to be relaxing, and hey, Koi Pond could even be a stress reliever.
Why we never went back: It did work well as a demonstration of iPhone graphics, but I never got bored enough to actually open it up again unless I was showing off the iPhone. Mind-numbing.
7. MyBatteryLife ($0.99)
Why we downloaded it: Wouldn't it be great to know how much battery life you had left? MyBatteryLife claims to give you an accurate countdown, showing you how much standby and talk time is left, and even time left using 3G. Hey, this could come in handy.
Why we never went back: There's already a battery meter that's reasonably accurate on the top right of the iPhone, and on the iPhone OS 3.0, you can even configure it to show the percentage of time left. Problem is, MyBatteryLife disagrees with that iPhone meter most the time, and the other countdowns aren't that accurate, either.
8. Language Translator (Free)
Why we downloaded it: Type some of that foreign language gibberish into Language Translator, and suddenly it appears in your native tongue. This could be a veritable Tower of Babel!
Why we never went back: Unless you're traveling and are constantly having trouble with the signs/menus and are willing to stop and type the text into your iPhone, I can't see this being go-to app. I want voice translation, real time. C'mon, iPhone — no universal translator? Really, it's two thousand fraking nine already.
9. PocketGuitar ($0.99)
Why we downloaded it: Why bother schlepping around a real guitar when you can have PocketGuitar, a realistic substitute on your iPhone? I could whip this out and show people some of my guitar-picking chops, no instrument required. Kumbaya anyone?
Why we never went back: This is a dumb toy that's useless in playing any real music. It's not even fun to demonstrate it. Goofy.
10. SimCity ($4.99)
Why we downloaded it: Remembering long hours spent mesmerized by SimCity, we always marveled at how we were going to just play around with this city-building program for five minutes, and more often than not, that turned into five hours. Could this great game translate to the iPhone?
Why we never went back: No, this portable version can't replicate the desktop experience. SimCity for the iPhone represents a valiant effort at translating the game to a handheld platform, but it's just wearisome creating new roads, water lines, and neighborhoods on such a small screen. We played it once for a while, and then gave up amid all the tedium.