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Developer's admittedly "terrible" app climbs ranks

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.

by MacNN Staff





  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    At least he didn't charge for this stuff. Then again, if he did, he probably would be raking in the dough.

  1. Oneota

    Joined: Dec 1969



    AppleInsider is run by the same people who do MacNN - so this is yet ANOTHER case of MacNN linking to itself, just like they used to do awhile ago.

    Remember when every third MacNN article was just a link to an Electronista article? Yeah, this is the same thing...

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So what's the problem...

    It's free. Is it in any way harmful to users? Does it offend users in any way? So this developer made a useless app. If somebody made an app that threw the text on the screen "Hello World" and played a trumpet salute in the background, that's just fine. It doesn't break any App Store rules. If you don't like it, you delete it. If you like it, you keep it. This grenade app might be good for a few laughs. What's the harm.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    At least it's free...

    As for other mobile platforms, you'd pay out of your nose for such apps. I see the ads on TV regularly and they're generally making you sign up for a "subscription" to three apps per week to the tune of $5 apiece PLUS a $5 starter fee. So, basically scamming you for $20 if you just wanted that übercool X-Ray scanner or electrical shaver app for your Nokia or SE...

    Even though there's a lot of c*** on the AppStore, there's still room for decent sales of "real" apps.

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