The day after John posted about Noble Fart and Pull My Finger bringing joy to fans of bodily functions via Android, a buddy let it slip that the latter was his favorite new iPhone app. Was it just a coincidence? That I am surrounded by fart fans?well, yes. But what I?m talking about is the seemingly sudden ubiquity and popularity of these ?wind-powered? programs.
Curious, I took a lookie-loo into the App store and sure enough, Pull My Finger is #31 on the paid apps list. Pretty impressive, I thought, but still not Numero Uno on the chart. I was relieved, like my faith in civilization was restored. Then I checked the top spot and got a little shocker. There, looking almost militaristic in theme, was iFart Mobile. This (seriously, THIS?) is the #1 paid app in the store.
I was dumbstruck. Weren't we all, as early-adopting Google phoners and smug iPhone users, comfortable in our sophisticated mobile sensibilities? We were looking up things like wine, productivity tools and gourmet recipes, fer goodness? sake. *Sigh* So much for the discerning cell user. I guess it never takes long for human nature (and its proclivity for gross jokes) to win out.
Wait a second.? If that's true, why did it take so long this time? Shouldn't sophomoric programs have run amuck in the iPhone Appverse way sooner? So what's different now?
According to the rumor mill, courtesy of O?Reilly, iPhone app acceptance standards got an overhaul recently. Although Apple did tend to (eventually) approve more apps than it rejected, Android's arrival on the scene meant that those standards were bound to get reevaluated. After all, how do you compete with the limitless options of an open-source platform? Well duh?For starters, you stop limiting software choices to your own end users.
Meanwhile, Pull My Finger, which was declined in September (due to what Apple called its ?limited utility?), got a reprieve when the company reversed the rejection. A rep told creator Sam Magdalein that a new slew of apps were slated for approval?and his bodily cacophonous masterpiece was one of them. (What's interesting is that PMF was initially bounced out, but iFart was released in October. Is there a massive difference between the two? I have no idea. But if you?re really interested, let us know and we?ll do a side-by-side comparison.)
So where does all this leave us? In pretty good shape, actually. While the experts may have considered the App Store a pioneering concept that overshadowed even the mighty iPhone itself, developers were frustrated with it and its restrictions. Now, with the store loosening up and getting a sense of humor, there are sure to be even more funny, cool (and even downright twisted) apps coming down the pike.
I hope this sets a new bar for creativity. If so, Android will likely keep pace (maybe even exceed it). As for BlackBerry, with its own app store set to debut in early 2009, it has to swing for the fences to remain competitive.
Yep, it's going to be a great year. I can't wait.
Suddenly, I have nothing but warm fuzzies for Pull My Finger and its ilk. So who cares if a million handsets can now play a symphony of farts in the streets, water coolers and frat parties of America? If that's what it takes to herald the rise of creative development, then so be it. I?ll be the first in line to join the orchestra.