Top 5 completely pointless iPhone apps that we love
Looking for a pointless iPhone app that will entertain you for seconds and then just sit unused on your homepage for months? We've found some real corkers -- and we start the round with a delightfully insubstantial concoction.
The iPint app from Carling is completely free to download and utterly pointless, but no iPhone user can go without it. After you've played with it a few times you'll wonder why it's taking up space on your phone, but every now and then an easily impressed mate will marvel at your virtual pint and you'll never get rid of it.
iPint offers a simple game mode where you manoeuvre a pint glass through a maze of bar snacks and beer mats, and then 'rewards' you with a virtual pint. The virtual pint fills itself up and then -- via the magic of motion sensors -- detects when you're tilting the iPhone and 'pours' out as if you were drinking it.
A swig of iPint trivia: the company behind it got involved in some legal wrangling with the company behind iBeer, another virtual-pint offering. According to the Los Angeles Times, the creator of the iBeer app said he'd come up with the concept first. Both apps are still available to download from the app store.
Meow Cam is incredibly cute -- but marvellously pointless too. The idea is simple: press the cat button and your phone makes a meowing sound so your feline buddy looks up, then you shoot an adorable -- and highly captionable -- picture with the camera. Of course, instead of downloading an elaborate app you could always just make a noise yourself and take a picture.
There are 15 different sound effects to choose from and just in case it doesn't work, the app developers are keen to point out that "its use may be limited by the character of the cat and the environment". Our resident cat enthusiast Nate Lanxon tested it out with mixed results: Batman, his cat, wasn't always bothered.
At 59p we think it's probably a little expensive if you don't actually own a cat, but if you do you'll no doubt think it's the most wonderfully pointless app you ever bought. You may also find that it works well for dogs or other pets, but we have yet to complete our extensive testing process. If you do find it works on other animals, make sure to let us now.
Remember playing the recorder at school and not being very good at it? The Ocarina is essentially a recorder, but instead of using holes to make a sound it uses the iPhone. To play it you blow on the iPhone's mic and hold down a key on the screen, at which point a sound will emanate from the iPhone's speaker.
The ocarina is actually an ancient instrument that's probably most famous now for appearing in Zelda games. We've never met anyone who's very good at playing the iPhone ocarina in real life, but they do exist -- you can find them on YouTube.
At only 59p it's worth downloading if only to see how it works, but unless you're willing to train day in, day out to become a master ocarina player, it's fairly useless. We tried for days to play the Simpsons theme song, but in the end gave up and just about managed Frère Jacques.
If you grew up watching Star Wars, chances are you've picked up a random object at some point in your life and pretended it was a lightsaber. If you were unfortunate enough to be caught by friends and filmed holding a banana pretending to be Luke Skywalker, you have our deepest sympathy.
Enter the Lightsaber Unleashed iPhone app -- a brand-new way for you to act out your lightsaber fantasies. It lights up, it makes the sound effects and even reacts to your movements. It's completely pointless and will make you look more of a geek than the banana did, but we love it all the same.
Our favourite feature is the ability to change the colour of the light blade. It's free to download too, so you can prance around like Darth Vader for nothing.
iSteam does what it says on the box and steams your iPhone's screen up: pointless, right? We can't help but love that you need to blow into the mic to get it all steamy again. iSteam even makes a squidgy sound when you touch the screen, just like a mirror would, and you can select your own background image.
This has to be the most pointless app we've downloaded by far -- and that's why it's one of our most loved. There it sits, unused, on our iPhone homepage until one day we see it and think, "Hey, I haven't used that pointless steam app in a while, I wonder if it's like I remember?" Then two seconds later we're steaming away.
If this sounds like the kind of pointlessness you need in your life you can pick it up for 59p. Or if times are tight on the old wallet you could always put your iPhone on top of a cup of tea, although we don't recommend it.