App of the Week Reviews: “Sticky Bees” and “Badge”

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A couple of new apps came across my iPhone’s desktop this week; one is pretty good — and the other one is… not so much.

The first one is “Sticky Bees”, created by Lawrence-based developers Fourfire. I’m putting up a link to their YouTube commercial, simply because it describes the game better than I ever could.

So, what’s the verdict? Not bad, not bad at all. At first, it reminded me of a more complicated version of Snake (you know, the game that came with black and white Nokia phones way back in the day), but as I got into it, I realized that it’s just freaking addictive. You can also tell that the developers put a lot of TLC into this game; it’s not just a game put out there to make a quick buck, but a real labor of love.  It’s available for the iPhone.

The other app up for consideration this week is “Badge“.

This app puts a message up on your iPhone’s home screen, giving your name – eMail address – and phone number.  That way, if you happen to lose your iPhone, somebody can return it to you promptly.  It also translates into several different languages for folks who are traveling internationally.

Simply put, I can’t recommend getting this app.

The concept is a great idea, and if I trusted everybody out there, I could get behind it. Unfortunately, I also know several folks who have had their iPhones stolen, either because they were left unattended or because they were simply robbed. The last thing I would want these folks to know is my personal information. With this app, not only do the bad guys have access to this information — but they have access to it without having to unlock your phone.

If you’re truly that worried about losing your iPhone, I would recommend getting Apple’s “Find My iPhone” app instead. This app will pinpoint where your iPhone is on a map, play an alert tone so that you can hone in on its location, and will even allow you to wipe the phone from a remote location (in case the bad guys get hold of it). Oh, and it’s free.

I can see the good side, but I just can’t recommend “Badge” because it’s too much of an invitation for identity thieves. I could see using the two apps together — or maybe a company using it to protect loaned-out hardware… but for the average user, I think the risk is just too great. If you do choose to grab it, at the very least, use some common sense – don’t put your full name on the home screen, and use a workplace contact instead of your house.

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