Bogus Apps in App Store Promise Live Wallpapers, Deliver Crap & Demands For Refunds

 

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:

  1. Live wallpapers can’t be done on the iPhone or iPad natively.   There are, however, such apps available for jailbroken devices.
  2. 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.   
  3. Despite the app being released yesterday, Mr. Jeffrey J. Riley commented that “all his friends love it!”.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.

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  • n10z1

    I was one of the first people to purchase this software (at the original 99 cent price). I DID contact the help desk at iTunes and was upset that they responded so poorly. Their brilliant suggestion was that I purchase another copy (I am guessing that it was so that it could be determined if it was a true “bait and switch” scam and not just a download error). The problem with their suggestion is that, even if I delete the software, I cannot purchase a new copy. The best I can do is re-download. When I do that, I get the substituted (Message Designer) app. If iTunes had been responsible enough to investigate the issue WHEN I INITIALLY REPORTED IT, and discovered and fixed the problem, then the rest of you would not have been duped like me. It appears, from this article, that there are several more of these in the iTunes store? It seems that the only way to protect others is for everyone to petition iTunes for prompt investigation and removal of these apps. It might also help if they were forced, by bad press, to check out apps before adding them to their iTunes catalogue for download.

  • Alex

    You are just now figuring this out? Apple permits the App Store to be filled with cons and cheats and pirates.

    An overwhelming percentage of Apps are trash. An overwhelming percentage of Reviews are fake. A Crazy percentage of top apps are cons from con artists who live in countries with no real law. Apple’s welcoming of these cheats is so prolific one has to question if they fully support cheating. (Maybe: “Let’s let the people buy this trash and get ripped off, then maybe they’ll learn.” Um, Apple, learn what, learn not to trust YOU?)

    The fact is, in Dollars Spent on Apps per legit iOS User, the App Store is declining and has been for nearly two years. Why, because each and every one of these cons teaches users not to trust the App Store or Apple.

    When will these amateurs at Apple learn, they are not Steve, they are not responsible for Apple’s success, they are in fact responsible for its decline, because they are not providing better products, they are overseeing a flee market of con artists cheating people in the name of Apple.

    A special note: I love Apple. I have been a part of Apple my whole life. This cheating is not Apple, this cheating is the result of poor and incompetent leadership playing with Steve’s work like some sort of child’s toy. When will these amateurs learn, Steve respected aggressive people, but only talented aggressive people. Steve would NEVER have approved of selling TRASH and CRAP. We all know well over 50% of the Apps on the App Store are total trash. This is not Apple, this is insane.

    Tired of hearing ‘what Steve would have done’? Well, do something better than Steve, and until that, as Steve would say, “Fxxx You! You are a piece of Sxxx that Sucks.”

  • http://twitter.com/igadgetman Central Scrutinizer

    I downloaded this piece of crap also. Left a review on iTunes. And contacted Apple for a refund. I enclosed this website.