The App Store will set you #FREE

appleWhat’s in an app?

Boogers that are spliced and everything lice!

Oops, I let the cat out of the bag. And you thought apps were oh-so-special.

An “app” is a small bit of software that is managed by a maître d known as the “app store” so the average idiot doesn’t have to know how to download, install or update. The app’s raison d’etre is to claw it’s way into your wallet in a mad grab for your monet.

An app is similar to its desktop cousin except it has less stuff and bombs more often. There’s something satisfyingly intuitive about a-swipe-and-a-crash. So tactile! That’s Siri saying, “Touch me and I’m outta here.”

The typical app has a lifespan of 42 seconds before it is forgotten. But not forever. You still dutifully update that app on a routine basis for the rest of your life. Parting isn’t sweet sorrow. It’s impossible.

After accumulating several dozen screens of shit icons, the typical user loses interest in acquiring more apps. The thing only gets used for email, twitter, maps and browser. So developers have to escalate the game to get your attention.

This is when the word “free” elbows his way into your life like a glad-handing dandy with his devious “trust me” smile.

There you are, minding your own business and trying to make your damn gadget do something useful. Rather than giving you what you want, though, the App Store is all abuzz and shoving the latest new and shiny app in your face.

It’s featured. It’s recommended. It’s new. It’s improved. It has great reviews! Four stars!

And, holy mother of God…


In the face of all that information, you shrug and say to yourself, what the hell, I guess I’ll give it a try. After all, it’s only one fondle of your screen away.

We’ve all been trained by now. We know that “free” means super shitty ads rammed down our throats. A developer has gots to get paid, yo. Or it means providing your name, email, and phone so that you can be harassed for the rest of your life. All for the chance to play some stupid game that, even if you enjoy, will end up sitting unused on your device. Archeologists in the future might find it but realistically that’s the only chance the app has at ever being seen again.

Then you open the game to find that it’s crippled. And how do you open the gates of this treasured “free” game?

Introducing a little gem known as the “Available In-App Purchase.” Hmm, what do we have here? Oh, a little something known as “Unlock Now!” and it’s only $4.99.

I know it sounds kinky but that’s how an Apple came to be lodged in your rear end. Somehow it’s even worse if you imagine it to be a Granny Smith.

Your magical handheld device has become the latest in a long line of deceivers in your life. “This game is free,” they say, “unless you actually want to play it. In that case it’s gonna cost you.”

Hey, Apple! Touch this! I got your available in-app purchase right here!

And so my lonely Don Quixote quest to discover a company that doesn’t think deceiving its customers is a valid way to do business continues…


8 responses

  1. Well, the first three letters of Apple are APP, so obviously Apple own the rights to all Apps. Bow, serf.

    I don’t own any Apple products, but I’m glad for the heads up in case I do buy an Apple phone some day. I won’t be playing any games, but if I ever get a smart phone, I might need the cat selfie app app. Hope it’s free.

    “Meow that’s great! The app that lets cats take photos of themselves”


    1. iGame, iSet, iMatch.

      I love my Apple products. The iPod is truly a technological marvel. Wifi, tons of music, and it can do so many things. The iPad does pretty well at holding my attention, too. And of course my iMac which is programmer friendly.

      Still, Apple isn’t without its warts. And I’m here to rejoice in them.

      Thanks for the cat selfie tips. You know I’m gonna try that. 🙂


  2. While in Italy I made the mistake of taking a bite out of the app(le) for my iPod. Nightmare. I’ve got four pages of apps and I only used about four. Mail, Safari, camera and Twitter. Tomorrow, the rest are going down. I’m going to make app(le) sauce.


    1. See? I called it! Four apps and the rest gather dust. That’s why I’m the guru. Have fun hitting the sauce.


  3. The trick with decluttering a desktop is in not cluttering it in the first place. Apple seems to have built an empire on a widespread affliction that combines un-self-regulated acquisitiveness with unrealistic expectations. The exacerbating software instabilities were bound to arise from hurrying to feed this consumer monster. I have to admit that even the few apps I’ve bought since 2011 regularly go ker-plunk. And then there’s the way that upgrades on one thing force upgrades on others. Let’s not go there. It’s the weekend. Time to get away from screens altogether.


    1. Gooid point. I’m very choosy about apps, especially those that cost money. Apple recent gave out ten apps for free and I loaded up on them all. I have six iPad screens full of apps. Sometimes I can’t even find the one I want and have to use the search function. That’s the definition of despair. My handheld device has a search function just for the apps! 🙂


  4. I have a pretty low number of apps on my phone and will occasionally just clear out ones that I don’t use that often or are terribly supported. I like my desktop tidy — even if it’s my phonetop.

    There’s a level of hell for the bait-and-switch “It’s free” makers out there.


    1. There’s an app called iOCD that will help you keep your desktop tidy. It does require one additional icon on the desktop, though. That’s a pretty heavy footprint.


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