Looks like a cool app, right? “Live Wallpapers – Living Animated Lock & Home Screen” is an app that promises to give iPhone and iPad users animated lock and home screens a’la Android. However, for your
99 cents [UPDATE – it’s been changed to $1.99 as of this afternoon], you get a crummy app that merely creates messages.
There are a few things that should tip savvy readers that this app is nonsense:
- Live wallpapers can’t be done on the iPhone or iPad natively. There are, however, such apps available for jailbroken devices.
- All of the 5-Star reviews are written by “people” with full first and last names, plus middle initials. i.e. Jeffrey J. Riley, Kathy P. Cooper, etc.
- Despite the app being released yesterday, Mr. Jeffrey J. Riley commented that “all his friends love it!”.
- The author has only one app – this one – to his “credit”, but his home page (http://livewallpapers-ios.weebly.com/index.html) discusses how they are “the premier publisher for independent titles”. Weebly.com is a free web site host, indicating that this “premier publisher” can’t even set up a proper web site at their own domain.
- A similar app (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id536093596?mt=8) by a similarly named author exists.
We found several other apps that promise the same thing on the App Store. A small sample:
These “crapps” have two things in common. First, they all promise amazing, fantastic live wallpapers with wording like:
Finally you can have Animated Live Wallpapers for your iPhone / iPod. You will be amazed once you’ve tried it.
This Live Wallpapers app even allows you to create your very own custom animated wallpapers using your own photos!! Surprise your friends with all amazing animations!
Second, they all have people demanding refunds, as the app does not – can not – do what is promised.
Many of the apps we examined appear to be the work of a single rogue developer, with similar Chinese names, 5-star reviews by similarly constructed names (full first and last names, plus middle initials), and with “support” sites on Weebly.com.
We have reached out to Apple for comment; it remains to be seen if and when they will remove these apps from the App Store. We will update you as we learn more.