This week, Wired reported that Apple has removed more than 1,000 apps from the Apple App Store from Chinese developer Molinker. Many of the apps were reported to be clones and copies of other apps, but the reason for the dismissal was that Molinker was getting great scores for the knockoffs, sometimes scoring higher than similar apps from other makers.
This wasn’t a case of the Chinese maker doing one better or actually improving on its apps. Instead, it was allegedly giving the apps away in exchange for high scores, thus creating a system where these lackluster apps scored high. Of course, given that the apps also have ratings of one star as well, it seems that those who actually downloaded them weren’t impressed.
It just serves as a warning that for every well-made app, there’s a scam waiting in the wings. The best advice is to do some research before buying any apps, and see what the return policy is so that if you end up with something that doesn’t work, you can get your money back.
Mark the Spot Where You Dropped Your Call
If the Apple iPhone has one major failing it’s that it drops calls from time to time. This is true of many handsets, but now you can “Mark the Spot” with a new app that lets iPhone users submit the time of the dropped call to AT&T. The app will also let users provide information on poor service coverage and less than stellar call quality.
The interesting part of this app, which essentially makes note of the handset’s shortcomings, is that it relies on the GPS technology in the iPhone 3G and 3GS. AT&T has also noted that it will listen to the complaints and look at the trends as it works to upgrade its network. This app is now available for free download from the Apple App Store.
Feisty Droid Community Site Launches
This week saw the launch of FeistyLittleDroid.com, a Cellular Sales sponsored community Web site for fans, users and developers of the Motorola Droid smartphone, which is powered by the Google Android OS. This site lets users interact via popular social networking tools, and the name is a nod to the Star Wars movie character R2-D2, who was described as a “Feisty little droid,” in 1983’s Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi.
The free site includes forums, photos and personal blogs, and also allows users and developers to collaborate on app development, with the ability to test and write app reviews. Given that the Motorola handset hasn’t exactly been a smash hit at launch, this community is really quite an interesting twist. One, frankly, we didn’t see coming in the mobile smartphone space—sort of like how we didn’t see it coming that R2 could suddenly fly in Episode II: Attack of the Clones (disclaimer: really, I’m not a fan of these movies).
After Hours Apps of the Week
The holiday season is in full swing, and it seems there is no shortage of mobile apps for when the workday is done. With that in mind, here is a quick look at some of the latest apps that are worth a peak.