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How iPhone apps can ruin your Christmas

If you are looking to download new iPhone apps that will change your life this Christmas, beware if a couple that could easily change things for the worse.

Everyone who is anyone, or who would like to be anyone, knows that the apps you have on your iPhone say a lot, well, almost everything, about you.

However, there are a couple of new apps that might truly revolutionize your Christmas and not necessarily in a good way.

The first is called the Background Check App. Not only is it wondrously free, but it also strikes a huge and lasting blow for personal freedom.

You can look around your dinner table this holiday season and, with your usual lithe grace, pull out your iPhone. Using your Background Check app, created by Been Verified, you can discover everything you need to know about the criminal history, property records, and so much more of everyone there.

It could be your neighbors who always seemed too good to be genuinely neighborly. It could be your Aunt Agatha, whose affinity for the schnapps might screen some vital information about her past life and associations.

Background Check was released December 18 and it has already received plaudits from happy iTunes store customers who have previously paid $60 to spy on others.

However, what if you decide to check up on your lover and discover she spent 18 months in an open prison in Connecticut for, um, fraud? How might that affect your experience over the Christmas morning stocking? What if you discover that your parents don't actually own the house in which your gifts are under the Christmas tree? What if you find out your sister regularly bounces checks?

Still, does Background Check have quite the potential to ruin your Christmas enjoyed by Gunman?

Gunman encourages you to enjoy the beauties of augmented reality to participate in "an epic battle with your friends."

Yes, when you hit your opponent, his iPhone will vibrate. You can leap around the rooftops of your neighborhood (please see the embedded Gunman video) before Christmas dinner, shaking your iPhone to reload before you take aim at those closest to you.

But what if, while you attempt to evade a sneaky attack from your cousin Jerome, you slip from the rooftop, fall into the neighbor's garden, bang your head against one of the fishing gnomes and suffer a concussion while Jerome repeatedly zaps you with his iPhone?

What if you suddenly and inexplicably spend the whole of your Christmas dinner revealing your distaste for your half sister, Griselda, by consistently zapping her over the lamb shank? Wouldn't this be augmented reality augmented to the level of dangerous mental instability?

Christmas is supposed to be a time when we embrace the shared values of love, joy, altruism and free food, wine and spirits.

Then along come these two apps, subtly targeted at the "Shared Values of Christmas" market, encouraging you to take physical and emotional risks that might result in anything from paranoia to broken relationships to broken crockery and garden gnomes.

Who on earth would create such things? Perhaps one should Background Check these people.