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Six excuses to touch and kiss your iPhone on Valentine's Day

February 12, 2010 |  5:36 pm

Upon spelunking around for Valentine's apps in Apple's now-massive App Store, I was amazed to find that there are at least dozens of Valentine's-related applications. I probably shouldn't have been surprised, given that close to 150,000 apps are available. That means apps are just getting more and more specific and the average usefulness level is very likely dropping.

The idea of 150,000 apps is hard to conceive of for us children of the software-in-box era, when the shelves of CompUSA or Software Etc. probably held no more than a couple hundred titles at once. And even most of  those were barely worth a second look.

That said, not everything in this world needs to be useful -- and for the price of four rides on the mechanical horse outside the supermarket, you can amuse yourself for minutes with a variety of odd and silly applications centered on just about any theme or topic. Why not?

I only ask that you wipe your phone clean after testing out these apps. It's a family holiday.

Now, then ...

iFallinLove - $0.99

Fall  This app is as simple as can get: Simply stand in a location you have designated as, essentially, ground zero for love, and tap the small blue heart.  The heart immediately comes alive and begins beating. As you move away from the locus of your love, the heart becomes smaller and smaller. Move closer again, and vice versa.

Because we humans are programmed to fall in romantic love with people rather than places, there is some question as to the usefulness of this app. But as we are learning, usefulness can be overrated.

Valentine's Countdown Pro - $0.99

Push  This app counts down the days until Valentine's Day. Again, you've got to wonder what type of person would need to know there are, say, another 143 days until V-day. For most of us, not thinking about it until a week before is sufficient, at which time a rough mental countdown from seven usually does the trick.  

Still, if you are really looking forward to or seriously dreading Valentine's Day a whole extra lot -- perhaps a proposal is in order, or the suggestion of divorce -- you might want to have the explicit reminder built in so you don't forget to plan ahead.

Kissing Test - Free

Kiss This app is slightly brilliant, as it encourages users to kiss their phones -- a feat that could be viewed as a massive "told you so" prank on Apple fanboys everywhere. And the more so because the human lips (and tongue?) appear to be rather weak electrical conductors. That means anyone using the app will have to apply several very sloppy smackers to the iPhone's touch-sensitive screen in order to get the app to work. Punished thus, it may hit you with the unflattering label of "Saliva Factory" and suggest that "maybe you should tone it down a bit."  However, it's not clear whether practice makes perfect in this instance.

Cupid at Work - $0.99

Cupid This game is sort of fun. You're Cupid, and you have to shoot arrows at passersby, timing it so whatever pair of lucky saps you select for instant love are standing close enough to be simultaneously hit by one arrow.

You've got to match up the couples: regularly dressed humans are to be paired, as are Native Americans in ceremonial garb. Same for sea monsters, superheroes, mummies, etc. The game allows love matches between same-sex individuals, as well -- so fire away!

Send eFlowers - $0.99

Flowers Let's start out with the dual slogans displayed on this app's promo page:

"Because Flowers DOES matter to her : you can now send flowers from your iPhone!"

"Be delicate and refined even when using your phone; you'll never be seen in the same way again!"

It turns out the app really does nothing more than allow you to send one of six very small, low-resolution photos of flowers via MMS text message. The way it does so is rather awkward: Once you select which bouquet you're going to send, the app saves the image to your phone's photo directory, then pops open the text-messaging interface. You are then responsible for importing the saved photo into the message. 

I'm not sure that this method of valentine-giving screams "delicate and refined." That said, the idea that you'll "never be seen in the same way" after using it is, I suppose, a possibility.

Pocket Cocktails - $0.99

Cocktails Now here's a pretty good deal. One dollar for 300 popular drink recipes? From martinis to Manhattans to Valentine's Day lattes (creme de cacao, creme de menthe, amaretto, milk, espresso, cinnamon), it'll keep you busy and buzzy almost until next February. 

The interface on this application is somewhat rigid, and the recipes are not always standard (because it's sponsored by Grey Goose, all the vodka drinks mandate you use Grey Goose), but as a basic mixology manual, it's great for the price. 

There are dozens of other Valentine's Day apps, but our budget for this experiment was lean. If anyone finds any excellent additions, please let us know in the comments. Enjoy your apps responsibly.

-- David Sarno