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Appiphilia: IPhone apps to 'aid' in dating and mating

Want to put a pillow on your relationship and smother it? Or maybe hit an extended snooze on that incessant biological clock? Hey, there's an app for that.

Girlfriend-keeper

Girlfriend Keeper (99 cents)

What it is: The app's name might be ironic. For some reason, that David Lee Roth song from the '80s kept playing in my head when I set this one up.

Message

This is either a fun lighthearted take on flirtation or the lazy lover's crutch to communication.

You set up the app to send generically customized texts or e-mails (or both) to your special person, at least nominally from you. Now, "playas," hold up. It is set up for one at a time, so don't count on managing your romantic rundown in this app. Although, I suppose you could keep one on autopilot with this and really woo another. There's a history of communication in the app, so you can track the love notes "you" sent.

You can set the frequency of messages and "relationship level" -- strangers, casual dating, heating up, serious or married. Some of the messages seem to be coming from a socially awkward IT professional. Example: Chelle, Fact: a flea can jump 130x its height. Can you beat that? -Curly Kid

My heart still flutters when I read that one.

The texts could be interpreted as coming from you, but there is no mistaking where the emails are coming from, even if you set it up with your name: <no-reply@girlfriendapp.com>. Gee, how romantic?

The texts range from the indescribably inane to moderately amusing to sweet.  

Bottom line: If you're too lazy to text, what else are you too lazy to do? If I found my name and info in this app on my man's iPhone, I think I might personally text: L8R!

Baby-builder

BabyBuilder ($1.99), Lite (free)

What it is: Ladies, you can exact your revenge by sending your significant other a look at what amazing creature you'd create together. No. 1, the fact that you're thinking babies could be enough to scare 'em off. No. 2, these things are possibly nightmare-inducing.

The babies are supposedly based on key features from pictures you upload, whether it's you and your SO or random people or celebrities. The tykes can come in four popular ethnic flavors: Caucasian, Asian, Latin and black, pulling on "classic" or slightly generic and stereotypical features to make that radical shift.

Every baby I made seemed to have Michael Jackson's post-reconstruction anime nose. Black babies had dark skin and full lips. Asian babies had more narrowed eyes.

Rock-Abbye-Baby

As a biracial person, I found that selecting "Latin" came closest to reality -- and then I remembered that "reality" has little to do with this. Babies can be shifted among the four listed ethnicities and get different eye colors and hair options. And you can even name and save your little darling for later. You can share the blessed news and picture of your iBaby via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or Flickr.

For giggles, I uploaded photos of Jay Leno (sorry, Mavis), President Obama (sorry, Michelle) and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (I'm so not sorry). The Leno and Obama babies looked exactly the same. I'm rather fond of the Rock Abbye Baby, even if it did have a Talking Tina vibe. 

I swear the kid said, "I'm ugly like my daddy," after puking. (No, its head didn't spin -- yet.) The creature also said, "I'm beautiful like my mama," and then declared it had a "poopy," complete with sound effect.

I also "made a baby" with my guy, an unwise move since the resulting "baby" scared my ovaries into a witness protection program.

Bottom line: This app could put you off reproducing. Ladies, your ovaries might run for cover after looking at your projected offspring. If that's what I'm likely to produce, I will stop trying -- NOW.

-- Michelle Maltais

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