The end of 2014 is nigh and it’s been an amazing year for Android apps and games. Unfortunately, not every Android app made a splash or, perhaps worse, many apps made a negative splash. It doesn’t take a lot to do something wrong but it does take effort to do something so wrong that people want to talk about it. In this roundup, we’ll talk about the most controversial Android apps of 2014.
[Price: No longer available for download]
First up on our list is a Duck Hunter knock off called Ass Hunter and this was a pretty messed up game. You played as a hunter who shot naked men and if the naked men approached you and you didn’t shoot them, they had gay sex with you. It was reported that the app description contained such phrases as “play and do not be gay” and “…you are a hunter and your mission is to kill gays as much as you can.” That should give you a pretty clear indication on why this game made people angry. There was a successful Twitter campaign to have the game flagged for inappropriate content and eventually it was removed from the Google Play Store.
[Price: No longer available for download]
Virus Shield made headlines earlier this year when it took the coveted top spot as the number one paid app in the Google Play Store. The feat was impressive especially considering that the app did absolutely nothing. If you downloaded the app you’d be treated to two screens. There was one with an “X” on it and another with a check mark and you could go from one to the other by tapping on the screen. Unfortunately, the wheels were spinning but no one was behind the wheel and the app did nothing else other than change graphics. The developer stated that the release was accidental but the damage had been done. In any case, that app is no longer available and a lot of people got refunds.
[Price: App is no longer available for download]
Primecast was an application that people actually liked. It allowed people with Amazon Prime memberships to stream content from their Amazon Instant Video account to their televisions by casting it through the Chromecast. Amazon was all like lol, nope, and had the app pulled. On top of that, they changed their backend so that people who still had copies of the app could no longer use it. It was a great app that met a sudden end and is a sterling example of what happens when a powerhouse like Amazon wants your app dead.
Facebook made the decision this year to totally remove their Messenger and Groups services from the main Facebook app and force people to use external applications for each. This made a lot of people angry and has widely been considered as a bad move. On top of using extra storage space, users also now have multiple apps constantly waking up their devices causing battery drain and pinging their data plans. Ostensibly, this was so Facebook could build more features into those services but so far the best we’ve gotten are similar to what one-night stands get, large gaudy stickers and regret. Then, when things couldn’t get any worse, Facebook did it again with their new Facebook Groups app.
Yik Yak is a little-known application that’s already caused some serious problems. The app itself is an anonymous and local message board that is kind of like a small-time Secret (and we’ll get to Secret here in a bit). The idea was that people would share community news, tell jokes, and have fun. Unfortunately, we are humans and some not all of us are good people. Thus, the service began being used as a cyber bullying and rumor mill platform. It’s been called a dangerous app by one psychiatrist and a couple of Philadelphia students even used the app to announce a school shooting and another used it to post a bomb threat. Despite the issues, the app does remain available in the Google Play Store if you want it.
Secret is another anonymous platform where people can anonymously post secrets about themselves and others. You can see where this is going. Things have gone so far with Secret that it’s been banned in Israel because people are using it for cyber bullying and also in Brazil for similar reasons. It’s also been used to post faulty secrets such as fake device leaks and other fallacious content. Like Yik Yak, Secret is still available for some people.
SketchFactor is actually a really good idea for an application. The premise was to alert people as to what parts of various cities are dangerous, weird, or shady and should be avoided. Unfortunately, the app is crowd sourced instead of fact sourced and that has led to some problems. On top of users generally not taking the platform seriously, there have been widespread accusations that the people who post to the app are totally racist and some have even said that the app is made for white people trying to avoid black neighborhoods. The creators swear up and down that neither of these things are true. Unfortunately for them, the Internet does exist in its current form and many parts of it have dubbed the app racist. If you want to see it for yourself, the button is below.
SkinneePix is an application that takes your selfies and edits them to make them look like you’ve lost weight. The options are simple. You can have the app “subtract” 5, 10, and 15 pounds and the result is a selfie that makes you look thinner. It’s promoted as an app to help you feel better about your looks but it’s been pointed out that you can’t possibly feel better about your looks if you feel the need to alter them. It also doesn’t help that the algorithms are pretty bad and make healthy looking people look gaunt, tired, and starving to death. Whether it’s making skinny people look dead or making chubby people feel bad that they’re chubby, this app seems to strike out at almost every demographic. Oh, and don’t forget that you have to pay for it. If you want to check it out yourself, the button is below.
It’s true that Uber wasn’t released this year but it’s driven enough controversy (get it?) to earn a spot on this list. Where to begin with this one? The app has been banned in Nevada and that has sparked talks to banning it other cities. Then there has been the back and forth smear campaign between Uber and Lyft. Then the CEO decided to spend $1 million to dig up dirt on shady journalists who blast Uber in the media and even got an endorsement for the behavior from Ashton Kutcher, who is most notably not a journalist. Then, to top it all off, their controversial surge-charging has plummtted Uber’s Better Business Bureau rating to an F. It’s been a rough year for Uber.
Yo isn’t really controversial but it is a curious case. The premise of the app is ridiculously simple. It’s a messaging platform that only says one word and that word is “Yo”. The idea is for users to assign meaning to the word and then when they receive a message, they know something happened. For instance, a sports team PR may send out a Yo whenever the team scores. Motorola recently used it to hold a contest. The thing most don’t understand is why this app is so popular and why so many investors have dumped money into it. Yo was developed in one day and it’s already earned tens of millions of dollars in financing. Oh and let’s not forget the huge security problem that it had when it started out. It’s an anomaly.
If we missed any controversial Android apps or you want to talk about these controversial apps, leave us a comment below!