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10 absurd new iPhone apps

What are the most ridiculous and absurd iPhone apps to grace us with this morning's iPhone firmware update? We round up 10 of our favorites.

We've swooned over Pandora's new iPhone application, LOL'd at the chat application from AIM, and poked our friends with the new Facebook application. But as we continue to dig deeper into the growing catalog of iPhone applications one thing is clear: there are some stinkers in the mix. Sure, they might we well-coded (or not), but who needs them? We've put together a list of 10 absolutely absurd new iPhone apps.

Stop evil-doers with...your iPhone? CNET Networks

1. Birth Buddy. This app lets you track labor contractions--you know, like when you're about to have a baby. This $10 application does have some use, like letting you figure out how far along you are, based on the timing of your contractions; however, this could be done simply with the iPhone's built-in stopwatch and the lap option. The one added benefit is that you can send an e-mail with this information to loved ones, but using that built-in phone and e-mail function you're already paying for might be a smarter idea.

2. Alarm Free. This app is loosely explained as a "self-defense/emergency alarm with freefall detector." That's not the best part though, it's got a visual of what the heck you're supposed to use it for. Apparently it will use the accelerometer to let you know if the phone is in free-fall mode (aka falling perilously out of your pocket)--that is, as long as you've got it running. Otherwise, you're supposed to use it as a sound alarm if you're getting mugged.

3. Crazy Eye. Just $.99 gets you this gem from Ezone, which questions why you would ever "waste money on an expensive facelift when you can get a crazy eye" instead. It's a series of 10 blinking eyes ranging from monsters to robots that let you hold up your iPhone over your face to amuse children or annoy co-workers to no end. This is the equivalent of those sticker machines you see on your way out of the drug store.

4.Cow Toss. Another $.99 gem that shows the awesome power of the touch screen by letting you toss a virtual cow. No, there's no scoring. You simply watch it fly around. This is reminiscent of some of the apps that came out when the iPhone was first jailbroken, back when developers didn't know what they were doing and didn't make you pay to realize that.

5. Flashlight. This $.99 application charges you for the convenience of turning your screen one of many solid colors for use as a flashlight. A similar native application was offered for free for jailbroken phones late last year. There's also a Web app called vFlashlight that does nearly the same thing for free. If you're away from a Web connection, you can get the same effect by opening up your e-mail in-box, which is predominantly white. (See also iBlackout, which does the same thing.) If you're intent on downloading a standalone flashlight application, there's Light, a free installable application put together by The Unofficial Apple Weblog's Erica Sadun.

6. Handy Randy. Can't think of random numbers? In case you skipped algebra back in grade school there's Handy Randy. This $10 application (!) draws random numbers for things like door prizes or for times when you're trying to figure out who gets to ride shotgun on the way to the mall. It certainly has some smart features like keeping numbers fresh and non-contiguous, and e-mailing the winners of said door prizes, but some simple math skills and imagination will remove the need to use an app like this.

Is this seriously something you want to spend time doing? CNET Networks

7. Hold On! I have to give this application developer some credit for not charging people for this. The entire goal of this application is to see how long you can hold an on-screen button. It records your records and supposedly helps you develop your "concentration skills to make you more productive." My idea of being productive is not wasting your time holding a button that doesn't do anything. What's next, a Lost-themed application where you have to enter "4 8 15 16 23 42" into an on-screen Apple IIe every 108 minutes or your phone bricks?

8. Public Transit Maps (all). Any sort of public transit system has its maps available online and free of charge. Also, if you're offline, you can easily spend just a few minutes planning ahead at home by downloading image files of entire system maps that you can simply put in your photo collection. The one thing many of these applications have is location awareness, which is cool, except that with Google Maps you can get an idea of where you are and figure out where the nearest transit location is without dropping $15.

9. Looky. This application lets you see live results from Google as you type in a search, and it costs $2.99 to do it. This is the same thing currently offered if you visit in your mobile Safari browser, where links from Looky open up to anyway. Save three bucks by using your browser instead.

10. World 9. When you were a kid, did you feel like real life was a little less cool than Super Mario Bros. because there were no sound effects when you jumped or ran around? Developer Nao Tokui has a free application called World 9 (an homage to the Mario Bros. series) that will make sound effects when you run and jump around based on how the accelerometer reacts. Of the bunch listed here this is probably the most useful, if only to entertain small children as you make a fool of yourself by jumping around with your phone.