Six iPhone apps you can live without (but won't want to)

By Joe Doherty, ITworld |  Personal Tech, free software, iPhone

Last week I wrote about some funny BlackBerry applications, which aren't exactly useful, but aren't a complete a waste of time either. I thought fair is fair, and iPhone deserves the same treatment.

Okay, it's not exactly about fairness: while I was researching BlackBerry apps, I stumbled across just so dang many iPhone apps that made me laugh, or at least scratch my head and wonder who in the heck came up with the idea, that I started bookmarking iPhone apps. I hope you enjoy the list, as well as the app! Oh yes: all apps listed are available in the App Store store.

Looking for a delicious alcoholic beverage without all of the calories and DUI charges? Well then, iBeer is just the application for you. This absolutely ridiculous, useless, and utterly must-own app uses the iPhone's accelerometer to simulate the drinking (or pouring) of a brewski. You can also brew a beer, shake it up, and burp...all for the low, low price of $0.99. The developer/distributor of iBeer has recently launched a number of lawsuits directed at the copycat applications out there. As of press time there's no word if MADD is going to take up the cause.

A little while ago, a very popular app called PhoneSaber was removed from the iPhone App Store. The problem was legal, where one company claimed rights and were correct in doing so. Fortunately, for the user, all is resolved and the Lightsaber Unleashed application is back and better than ever. THQ Mobile, owners of said rights, made this a very cool (and free) geek app rather than the mere novelty PhoneSaber was. You can choose a Star Wars universe character then launch the character's lightsaber by pressing the character's avatar and you can swish it around and pretend you're attacking Jar Jar Binks. Or George Lucas for creating Jar Jar. Either's fine.

I don't know if you remember (or even were alive back then) a desktop app called "Galileo" or "First Light"? This was a really nifty astronomy program that really did an admirable job of detailing and documenting the solar system. Later, the program was renamed "Distant Suns" and was truly remarkable and quite fun. Now, Distant Suns is available for download for the iPhone. Some of the touted features include being able to view the sky at the time of your birth, see the sun set behind Saturn, print out star charts for nightly viewing and so much more. Did I mention I dig astronomy? You can get Distant Suns (lite) for free or spend $5.99 for the full app.

There are useless apps, and then there are useless apps that can make you smile. If you're a fan of cows (who isn't?), then you must, with all speed, go download Hello Cow. When loaded, an image of a cow will appear. Touch said cow, and it will moo. Simple, weird, but amusing nonetheless. $0.99 well spent.

Some applications are just annoying, plain and simple. There is one application whose main purpose is to be annoying...hopefully to others. The aptly named "Annoyance!" app fills your screen with icons depicting an irritating noise. Need an irritating noise to bug a coworker? It's probably listed here among the crying baby and the revving chainsaw. Or you can try this on a subway and get your butt handed to you. And did I mention it's free of cost.? Ensuing medical expenses not included.

This last application is not exactly for everyone (like iBeer is), but it's actually quite a good idea ... for some. How would you like to turn your iPhone into a barcode reader? Red laser will do that for you (for a reasonable price of $1.99). The software uses the iPhone's camera to read the barcode and the software processes the readout. I would love to see this for the BlackBerry. Not that I really have a use for it, but it would love just to play around Best Buy.

Got some more? List 'em below!

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