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.
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.