updated 02:55 pm EST, Thu January 22, 2009
Terrible app climbs ranks
A software developer's admittedly "terrible" iPhone app has climbed the download ranks, adding evidence to the notion that the App Store is conducive to simple projects with limited functionality, according to AppleInsider. The 22-year-old created Sound Grenade, a free app which plays a loud, high-pitch noise while displaying an image. The project objective was to create and submit an app in under an hour, a goal that he actually exceeded. The app took 20 minutes of work, including all 10 lines of code.
"For example, rather than generating the [sine] wave programatically, I knew it would be quicker for me to just play a looping sound," said the developer, working under the pseudonym High Gloss to separate his personal projects from his employment with an iPhone software company. "From a technical point of view, it's quite an embarrassing effort, but my goal was to do it in the hour, and I easily achieved this."
"I wrote a top 10 app ....and its s---," reads his blog entry. Sound Grenade did not take long to climb the ranks, now holding top-ten positions in several different countries and passing over 100,000 downloads on Tuesday. He explains the phenomenon as driven by consumers that, despite preconceptions about iPhone owners, "want crap like Sound Grenade."
Iconfactory engineer Craig Hockenbary, in an open letter to Steve Jobs, recently expressed his dismay with the App Store structure. He argues that the presentation leads to large sales of "ringtone apps" that lack functionality or refinement, while developers shy away from the risks and costs associated with more significant projects.