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iPhone and iPad crapware - 5 apps to avoid

Tom Kaneshige | April 7, 2011
If you're new to the world of iPhone and iPad apps, don't be fooled by these stinkers in the App Store. Here are some apps that have been overpriced or outclassed.

What it does: One of the first cool reader apps for the iPhone, Eucalyptus ($10) serves up 20,000 free books. Pages are rendered beautifully, and you could turn pages easily. Eucalyptus was chosen by Wired and Macworld as one of the best apps last year.

Why it's a stinker: The e-reader genre quickly became a commodity reading experience on the iPhone and, later, the iPad. The bookstore behind the e-reader app became the most important feature.

Kindle (free) emerged as the dominant app on the iPhone and iPad, followed by Apple's iBookstore (mostly due to an old tech vendor trick, called bundling). Thus, Eucalyptus and other e-reader apps had little to offer.


What it does: Mirror, mirror on the iPhone...

Let's face it, everyone wants to look at themselves in the mirror. That's why lots of people bought the Mirror for iPhone ($1) app, which basically takes your picture and puts a frame around it.

Why it's a stinker: It doesn't work like a mirror that reflects a dynamic image.

The better option is PhotoBooth on the iPad, which uses the front-facing video camera and delivers a mirror-like experience (although you'll have to look at the camera, not into the screen). The best mirror just might be the iPhone or iPad—when the device is turned off. The dark screen is fairly reflective.

Like other Apple apps, PhotoBooth comes bundled on the iPad 2. But third-party developers have delivered apps that really take advantage of the 10-inch screen and touch features. Check out these 15 best iPad apps for newbies.

AP Stylebook

What it does: The Associated Press Stylebook for iPhone ($25) is the industry standard manual for spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage and journalistic style. The app lets you search across chapters, add notes, and bookmark listings.

Why it's a stinker: Did we mention it was $25? That's an outrageous price for what's little more than a reference document. There isn't even an iPad version.

Moreover, journalists face tough times in an industry with historic job losses and salary cuts. Yet they are the ones that need this app the most. Thanks, Associated Press.


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