The Best And Worst Celebrity Apps

In today’s flooded app market, it’s hard for developers to get an idea noticed, and even harder to get it to stick. Needless to say celebrity cred goes a long way, and so has birthed an unlikely partnership between Hollywood stars and software programmers.

It’s win-win. Society’s fascination with the rich and famous and their PR-proofed personalities can also get a startup much-needed attention and a stable of new clients, and the celebs get another platform to promote their personal brands and sell themselves.

Case in point: Hitcents, the humble Kentucky-based app development company Tom Hanks’ hit app Hanx Writer has recently set up offices in LA and partnered with a creative agency that acts as liaison between app makers and celebrities. Look out for a One Direction app coming soon.

Will apps evolve into something that any celebrity is expected to have, like a personal website? Is fame now judged by prominent search results in the iTunes app store?

Here’s a rundown of celebrity apps on the market, from worst to best (in our humble opinion) and the good, bad and weird of each.

10. Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood

A game where your objective is to have your customised avatar climb the Hollywood social ladder from nobody to A-List by buying things, going to photo shoots and out-smarting a condescending frenemy named Willow Pape.

Good: The game is smart. It makes you want to spend money.

Bad: The game is smart. It makes you want to spend money.

Weird: It’s putting all that we claim to dislike about the Kardashian klan out there for us like a transparent Life & Style cover and we’re lapping it up like it’s foie gras made from the last living geese in the world.

Available on iTunes and Google Play, free … technically

9. Reba,byReba McEntire

The TV show Reba was surprising good for a formulaic sitcom. It had complex family dynamics, twisting plot lines and funny jokes. Reba the app is not Reba the show. It is a regurgitation of her website.

Good: It’s an app that’s all about the radiant Rambling Red Rose we all know as Reba McEntire.

Bad: It’s useless and destined to become one of those apps that clutters up your phone, and Reba McEntire is better than that.

Weird: Makes you wonder who put Reba up to this? Was it Barbara Jean?

Available on iTunes and Google Play, free

8. Madonna by Madonna

This app is just like Reba’s, just Madonna. Way to express yourself, Madge.

Good: It’s free?

Bad: There is not a single cone bra to be found.

Weird: That a woman once so consumed with remaining relevant has zero interest in the relevancy of apps.

Available on iTunes and Google Play, free

7. Taylor Swift Greeting Cards

This app is as sweet as apple pie filled with puppies and as easy to figure out as a Katy Perry subtweet about the country pop star being a Regina George in sheep’s clothing. Did you get into a verbal pillow fight with a bestie over a boy? Shake it off by sending her a virtual card through Swift’s app, which offers a flurry of Instagram-filter-tinted cards covered in cupcakes and tire swings.

Good: Each card is customisable and allows the user to include a selfie, personalised note and their signature (or a drawing of a penis which this writer may or may have done).

Bad: You have to listen to Taylor Swift songs the entire time you use the app.

Weird: The absence of a single breakup card.

Available on iTunes and Google Play, free

6. Miranda July’s Somebody

Miranda July, director, actress and the author of delightfully twee short stories beloved by the likes of David Sedaris has been pretty verbal about her distaste for phones and other modern day gizmos. She thinks that social media actually makes us less social.

The solution? Her app and social experiment, Somebody. The idea is that users log in, type in a message to a friend, then use GPS to find the closest logged-in Somebody user to the friend that this message is intended for, and then have this stranger verbally deliver the friend the message.

Good: The idea of the app is nice — it wants to increase serendipity by forcing people to actually interact with one another IRL, especially people who wouldn’t naturally interrelate.

Bad: The concept is too convoluted to ever work.

Weird: July felt compelled to direct a short movie to better explain the app.

Available only on iTunes, free

5. Ellen’s Head’s Up

Picture: Heads Up App/Facebook

This clever game forces its players to interact with one another offline, shattering society’s biggest complaint about modern technology: isolation. The concept is simple: choose a category that ranges from “accents” to “brands”, hold your phone or tablet up to your forehead and have the other player describe whatever word pops up on the screen without actually saying the word. Yup, like the classic “who am I?” game, but with a gadget instead.

Good: The game records while you play, so if hilarity ensues, you can post the video on Facebook, enticing more friends to get off social media and be social in real life. The circle is complete.

Bad: Portia di Rossi is an answer in the celebrity category.

Weird: That the app’s icon, which is Ellen’s eyes, looks so much like the comedian’s actual eyes that it feels like the app is watching you … because it is.

Available on iTunes and Google Play, $0.99/$1.29

4. Shaquille O’Neal’s ShaqDown

A game where you play as Shaq, or “The Justice Bringer”, a caped behemoth who kills mutant zombies in the Middle East with free throws from a basketball.

Good: Just like Shaquille O’Neal, this game has a great sense of humour.

Bad: Humour is all it has going for it. The game is unchallenging, the storyline is simplistic and the loading time is longer than the former baller’s rapping or police career.

Weird: Provokes one to contemplate what a mutant zombie is supposed to be? According to this game, they are two-toned monsters that enslave rather than eat people and speak English, though they live in Yemen.

Available on iTunes and Google Play, free

3. Snoop Dog’s Snoopify

This app allows you to take a selfie and “Snoopify” it with Snoop-tastic stickers like marijuana leaves, a hand holding a lollipop and David Beckham’s head.

Good: It’s extremely entertaining when you’re stoned.

Bad: Stickers like thick twisted golden chains, hairnets and black strippers are misogynistic and scream of cultural appropriation.

Weird: People have spent $100 on a virtual golden spliff that emits rainbow smoke.

Available on iTunes and Google Play, free

2. Tom Hanks’s Hanx Writer

It’s easy to pine for the Tom Hanks of yesteryear — a charming, blue-eyed goof who fell in love with mermaids, slobbery pups named Hooch and multiple versions of Meg Ryan. Turns out this is the same surge of emotion Hanks feels when the avid collector of typewriters hears the FIT FIT FIT of a Smith Corona Skyriter or the TICK TICK TICK of Hanx Prime Select — the default virtual typewriter one receives when downloading Hanx Writer, the actor’s app that allows users to tap out messages via a typewriter on their iPad.

Good: It’s as charming as stumbling upon a Zoltar Speaks machine at a dive bar and making a wish to be “big”.

Bad: It’s only available on iPad.

Weird: The irony of it. The app’s broad appeal makes as much sense as the popularity of last year’s Captain Phillips. It’s the modern resurgence of something we used to love. But, if that’s the case, why not just buy an actual typewriter?

Available on iTunes

1. William Shatner’s Shatoetry

To boldly go where no app has gone before, Shatoetry allows users to create poetry and have it recited by William Shatner. The app uses the same concept as magnetic poetry, allowing the user to pluck random words from a scrolling, horizontal list to be dragged and dropped into a composition on your screen.

The Good: Pauses can be extended and the emphasis of every word can be tweaked, allowing you to customise Shatner’s choppy signature cadence.

The Bad: The deep sadness one experiences when they realise that they need to purchase additional word packs in order for Shatner to utter the likes of “ahoy”, “Pocahontas” and “tastytiger”.

The Weird: Having to tap the unfortunately named “Shat That” button in order for Captain Kirk to read your masterpiece.

Available on iTunes and Google Play, $0.99/$1.29