December 4, 2009
Originally published on the Huffington Post.
People always want to focus on using the iPhone to be productive. I’m certainly no exception, but for this article I’d like us all to embrace the fact that the iPhone is excellent at wasting time. In fact, the iPhone App Store provides more than 100,000 ways to spend your time, and I want to highlight just a few of the many apps that have absolutely no productive value. Got 5 minutes to spare and no desire to get anything done (or buy anything)? Well then I’ve got some apps for you…
So, finally, there’s Photoshop for your iPhone, except that it isn’t the advanced designer and artist’s tool you can buy for $999. Instead it’s free and, as you can expect with that kind of price point, it bears little in common with the desktop Photoshop program other than the name. However, it is a great time waster that allows you to transform an iPhone picture in seconds. It’s got all the basics – you can crop, rotate, and flip pictures. You can make them black and white and change their tint and saturation. But it goes beyond that with some attention-grabbing and fun, if not entirely useful features.You can use the “Pop” effect you can turn your picture into an Andy Warhol like design. You can make a sketched version of your pic or change it into rainbow colors (who doesn’t want their picture changed into a rainbow?). It’s got great UI and makes it easy to save your pics to share.
As if Twitter weren’t distracting enough, imagine if all your tweets were translated into “gangsta slang.” The result is hilarious (but certainly not the most politically correct app we’ve seen). Whether you love it or hate it, you can definitely waste five minutes playing around with it, and you will end up sharing it with your friends (and wasting their time too, isn’t that what friends are for?).
The classic time waster of throwing your crumpled up piece of paper into the waste bin is much less prevalent nowadays. Luckily, with your iPhone there’s a virtual alternative that’s much more environmentally friendly. Much as the name implies, you attempt to toss paper into a virtual wastebasket. Be prepared for major time wastage.
Fling involves flinging little furballs around in increasingly complex puzzles. The puzzles are timed so that, although at first you may think this game’s a piece of cake, you will readily realize it’s not as simple as it looks. Highly addictive and with absolutely no productive value.
Hangman Classic Free
Hangman should not be pretty, it should not have 3D graphics. It should be simple with a stick man on lined paper. This iPhone app is perfect for bringing you back to gradeschool hangman. Sometimes simplicity is just what an app needs.
Words with Friends Free
This Scrabble clone adapts well to the iPhone. You can play with a random opponent or a friend (although Words with Randoms probably wouldn’t have been as good of a title). When it’s your turn you get a push notification letting you know. Also, John Mayer called Words with Friends the new Twitter. You can’t beat a celebrity endorsement.
Facebook on the mobile phone is the time waster’s delight. Now you can access all of your friends’ status updates whether you’re at Starbucks or while waiting at a red light (that last one probably isn’t too safe).
Reminds me of the ever-popular Halo for the Xbox, all for the cost of free. It’ll take you a couple of minutes to get the controls down, but once you do you won’t be able to put it down.