19 JUN

Fast Tools Pro for iPhone is Not What You Think

by Marianne Schultz
 

In general, I like to focus on providing information that will help you decide whether or not to spend your hard-earned money on an app. While many free apps are often featured here, most are paid (or free with compelling in-app purchases) since there’s more on the line for you to buy a paid app than to simply download a free one. And, I like to cover apps that at least look like they’ll be good and offer some value (would you really come here to read reviews of bad apps?) based on the description and screenshots.

Though every now and then, I come across an app that sounds promising but can’t possibly live up to its description. These apps are almost always bad buys and while I don’t want to vilify any developer, I sometimes feel like I should warn readers accordingly. Today is one of those days.

A new app by Axotic debuted in the App Store today called Fast Tools Pro. Here’s what its description promises:

Add Widgets to your home screen!

Now you can have Wifi / Bluetooth / Auto-Lock / Flight Mode and Brightness Settings right on your home screen with this app.

There is a major issue with this description that may not be known to the average iPhone or iPad user (my mother, who is new to the iPhone, certainly doesn’t know this): Apple doesn’t allow apps to run as widgets on the home screen.

So, Axotic is promising something here that isn’t even technically possible using the SDK and developer guidelines provided by Apple. But what if this app somehow does work as promised and slipped through the cracks of Apple’s app approval process, you ask? This process is not perfect given the tethering and Bluetooth switch apps that have made it to the App Store before, but given the big promises made in this description, I think it’s doubtful. However, in the interest of providing useful information to readers, I purchased the app and tested it to see.

And you know what? It doesn’t work as promised. Surprise, surprise.

The home screen referenced in the description is a fake one – when you open the app, you’re presented with an interface that looks like the iPhone’s home screen but it’s not. It contains none of your purchased apps and shows some of the apps that come installed on the iPhone, like Game Center, iTunes, Music and others, but these are all shortcut buttons to the apps themselves presented on a wallpaper that’s a stock option in the Settings app.

And the widgets? There are handful of weather, clock and other widgets that you can add to the fake home screen within the app. And the settings widget to toggle Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other settings doesn’t work iOS 5.1 or higher (and since I don’t have a device on a lower iOS version, I can’t test to see if they actually work).

So, there you have it. Fast Tools Pro doesn’t work as promised. I know there are a ton of apps in the App Store like this but this app’s description seemed so willfully misleading I felt compelled to try it out and tell you about it, even though it resulted in the developer earning $1 from my purchase. However, maybe this post will prevent others from falling for its false promises and giving Axotic even more money.

Of course, another issue entirely is why Apple allows apps like this in the App Store. While the app may technically function, it certainly doesn’t do what its description states. Of course, asking Apple to test every app submitted to see if it can do everything claimed in the description would make the approval process exceptionally cumbersome but it seems like even a basic check would have prevented Fast Tools Pro from making it there.

Here’s a link to the app so you can see it, but don’t buy it. Really. It doesn’t work as promised.

  • Utilities

    Fast Tools Pro

    Last Changed:
    28 months ago
    Rating:
    2.50 (28)
    Version:
    1.1
    iOS Universal

    Add Widgets to your home screen! Now you can have Wifi / Bluetooth / Auto-Lock / Flight Mode and Brightness Settings right on your home screen with this app. Guess what? The Settings widget is one...

UPDATE: As mentioned by Matt in the comments, Fast Tools Pro appears to have been removed from the App Store. I can’t say that I’m sorry to see it go and I’m glad that no one else will be duped into purchasing it by its misleading description. However, a free version the app, also by Axotic, called Fast Tools is still in the App Store. This app has the same description as Fast Tools Pro did but at least no one will lose any money by downloading it since it’s free. However, I’m still disappointed that Apple’s approval process didn’t weed this one out as well since it can’t do what it promises.

11 Comments

  1. TJ_Moose

    “These apps are almost always bad buys and while I don’t want to vilify any developer, I sometimes feel like I should warn readers accordingly. Today is one of those days.”

    Nice blogging Marianne. Time to announce the Hall of Shame. This app and the recently pulled “Microsoft Word 2012″ (which was only a reference guide) are my pick for 1st-round ballot inductees.

  2. Anand Raj R

    I have created an application to inform people on possible fake apps like widgets,lock screen, wireless charger, etc., But unfortunately Apple rejects it.

  3. Rocko

    Some walled garden Apple has.

  4. David Simon

    Thanks so much for this precious info. I have spent my hard-earned money on some crap apps like these too. :(

  5. Bazzboa

    Rocko,

    It’s not Apple’s fault that a dev does not describe their app correctly. I assume this app does not do anything malicious to your phone.

    Thanks for the heads up tho. Would be nice to see this add to iOS however.

  6. Ondrashek

    Well I was so excited and didn`t think with my head and bought this CRAP!
    I have already wrote an email to Apple. Hopefully they will do something at least about the lying description.
    What I noticed is that there is same app for free with different icon and without the suffix Pro. Any clue what is the difference? (i am not downloading that crap again, even if its free).

  7. michael

    So why feature this app on your home screen if it doesn’t work…feature something that does work

  8. Adam

    It is great to see posts like this. This is truly something that can benefit people that could get fooled by the descriptions in apps like this. I think everyone has at least bought one app that quickly realized the description very misleading.

  9. Matt

    Marianne, it looks like either Apple or the developers yanked “Fast Tools Pro” and replaced it with “Fast Tools” – a free version of the exact same app. I would hope that Apple had the good sense to pull it, but then why would they allow the very same app (with a fresh coat of paint) back in the store? Either way – avoid at all cost, free or not.

    By the way, the same developers (Axotic Co.) have a Swype app that claims to allow iPhone/iPad users to integrate Swype into their devices. That app also is a total ripoff – the reviews speak for themselves. How odd that Apple allows these types of apps in the App Store yet frowns upon those who jailbreak their devices to gain more functionality.

  10. Aleksei

    Where is Fast Tools Pro?!! Once upon a time tools appeal like this and what!!??

  11. Marianne Schultz

    Matt – thanks for pointing out that it’s no longer available. I’ve updated the article to note this. It is a shame that Axotic seems to be only making apps that intentionally deceive users. I’d hope that Apple would realize this and act accordingly by banning this developer from the App Store.

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