Any moderately savvy Internet user or smartphone owner will tell you that there's an app for almost everything. In fact, the very phrase "there's an app for that" became a bona fide Internet meme after the ubiquitous iPhone commercials that ran in 2009 and beyond.
This brave new world of Internet apps and social networking sites has (for better or worse) made traditional calculators, cameras and address books all but obsolete. And yet the demand for user-friendly shortcuts to modern life has not stopped at the traditional. The age of intelligent systems has exposed some less obvious and certainly less polite needs of the average app user. And despite apparently knowing there's an app for everything, inhabitants of this world can't help but be surprised, if not scandalized, when the newest risquÃ© app is released.
The latest app to surprise the Internet-using public (or at least the media that's said to represent that public) is the Bang With Friends Facebook app. Launched in January by three college-aged guys, Bang With Friends works as advertised: it lets users identify Facebook friends they'd like to sleep with, but keeps those preferences private unless the attraction is mutual and the friends are also "down to bang." This privacy allows the app to facilitate hookups with few risks to users.
The popularity of this somewhat controversial app reveals a real demand for this type of service. And although it's the newest, Bang With Friends is certainly not the weirdest Facebook or phone app available. Here's a look at nine other strange apps that are available for download on Facebook or smartphones across the world.
9. if i die is a Facebook app that allows users to write or record a message that will only be published after the user's death. If that's not morbid enough, the app is currently holding a contest called the "if i die 1st contest." According to the promotional video, "If you are the first [participant] to die, your message will be published on Mashable, with over 20 million unique users, as well as on various international TV networks and websites, ensuring you extensive international exposure." Nope, this isn't a joke.
8. Status Shuffle supplies users with prewritten Facebook statuses – chosen from topics ranging from "inspirational" to "rednecks." The app can also generate random statuses like this gem: "your [sic] six and you have a cell phone? who are you going to call? Dora?"
7. Who Stalks You?? is a Facebook app that, you guessed it, allows its users to see who views their profiles. It's like a more embarrassing version of Bang With Friends.
6. The Whopper Sacrifice app is no longer active, but caused quite a stir when Burger King released it in early 2009. The app offered users a free BK whopper if they got rid of 10 Facebook friends… just as Darwin intended.
5. The iAmAMan app allows men to track the menstrual cycles of their girlfriends for the nominal price of $1.99.
4. The Spy Tools and Cheating Spouse Info Kit offers step-by-step checklists on how to spy on text messages, e-mail accounts, and computers, for the low cost of $2.99.
3. The Butt Analyzer can be downloaded for free on Google play. Using photos, this app calculates the attractiveness (on a scale of one to 10) of people's butts.
2. iFrenchKiss, a free iPhone app, evaluates its user's kissing skills with its "original proprietary kissing analysis engine." Don't worry, the app's makers have given users some advice: "To use the app, you will need to kiss your iPhone/iPod. Use common sense and do not slobber all over the device." Poor Siri.
1. And finally, for $0.99 the Hold On! app lets its users compete to see who can hold down a button for the longest period of time.
Considering the insanity of the applications already available for download on Facebook and smartphones, Bang With Friends is hardly a game-changer. In the Feb. 7 airing of "The Colbert Report," Stephen Colbert put it best: "There's already a place for the desperate and the sex-crazed on the Internet. It's called the Internet." It's also, apparently, called the app store.