SLIDESHOW

App-surdity: Are These Apps Real or Fake?

It's time to put the "app" in "Ap(p)ril Fools' Day." Can you tell which of these mobile apps are real and which ones are imaginary? It might be harder than you think.

Real App or Fake App?

Is truth really stranger than fiction? Sometimes. In today's world, "an app for that" probably exists even if it shouldn't. So it's getting harder to tell whether an app idea is real or fake. In honor of April Fools' Day, we've put together a list of real and fake apps for various mobile platforms. Can you tell which of them are actually available for installation, and which are just figments of our editors' imaginations? Let the guessing begin.

Screen Crack

If, for some reason, you want to pretend that your phone's screen is shattered without actually breaking the glass, this is an app built for the task. The free Screen Crack app for Android mimics a cracked screen--and, via the transitive property, also mimics the effects of installing apps under the influence of crack.

Price: Free

Platform: Android

Sent From My...

This deliberately misleading app for iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Symbian devices lets you pretend that you have a different phone or tablet than the one you actually own. The app automatically appends messages such as "Sent from my iPad," "Sent from my Droid X," or even "Sent from my Commodore 64" to outgoing e-mails, regardless of what you're really using. You can also append "Sent from" notes for devices that don't exist, such as "Sent from my Apple Galaxy Tab" or "Sent from my Nokia Blackberry." The only thing missing is a reason to do any of this, beyond distributing marketing copy for competing and/or fictional platforms.

Price: Free

Platform: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian

Android PWNZ

We're not sure whether this app was primarily designed as a benchmarking/battery-life tool for Android phones, or whether it was made simply to show off Android's features in the most over-the-top way possible. Excited Android fans can launch the Android PWNZ app to get an instant reminder of all the things Android can do that the iPhone can't: The app simultaneously runs Flash content, fires up a bunch of widgets, opens up the Bluetooth floodgates...and probably drains your battery in about 4 minutes.

Price: Free

Platform: Android 2.3 Gingerbread

Obsolescence Countdown Clock

This app doesn't cure buyer's remorse, but it does help you pick the right time to sell your current device on eBay in order to make way for the next one. Purportedly loaded with data about Apple's estimated announcement and release cycle for new products, the app displays a countdown clock that estimates the next hardware update for iPhones, iPads, and iMacs. Unfortunately, it leaves the speculation, rumors, and lost-phone scandals up to the blogs.

Price: $0.99

Platform: iOS

Ghostroid Paranormal Detector

Why spend thousands of dollars on a professional ghost-detecting kit when you can spend a buck-fifty on this Android app? It probably works just as well. The Ghostroid Paranormal Detector purportedly gauges subsonic and supersonic activity, which are allegedly the kind of noises ghosts make. Unfortunately, after detecting a ghost, the app doesn't shake the phantom down for the $1.50 you wasted on the app itself. As a side note, the developers claim that the app doesn't work too well on Samsung phones.

Price: $1.50

Platform: Android

Secret Word! From Pee Wee's Playhouse

Finally, the ultimate synthesis of faux children's television and mobile apps. This iOS and Android app uses voice commands as an extension of the "Secret Word" segment in Pee Wee's Playhouse, turning your phone into a festival of lights and noises if you speak one of 150 secret words into your phone. If you're particularly brave, you can set the app to "Phone Mode," and it'll fire up an on-screen party whenever you (or the person on the other end of the line) use the "Secret Word" in a phone conversation. Pee-Wee's Chairy is sold separately.

Price: $1.99

Platform: iOS, Android

Booger Flick

If you've ever wished that sending an e-mail was as easy as flicking a virtual chunk of mucus, then 99 cents will put you in touch with your wildest dreams. This app lets you create a customized "booger," pick a recipient from your address book, and then send them an e-mail with your embedded creation simply by "flicking" the booger on the screen. The future is now, and it's disgusting and pointless.

Price: $0.99

Platform: iOS

Plant Whisperer

According to some people, talking to houseplants will help your in-home foliage lead a normal, healthy life. But no one likes a one-way street of communication, which is where this app comes in. After you take a picture of a plant, this app visits your camera roll, "analyzes leaf structure and hue associated with healthy Nitrogen intake," and sends messages from your plant based on its "aura." The app has 38 canned responses ranging from "I could use a drink of water" to "Please don't leave me alone with your cat."

Price: $0.99

Platform: iOS

Rate a Fart 2.0

You can find an entire universe of gas-passing apps in the App Store, but as far as we know, this is the only one with an extensive database of real-life flatulence that you can listen to, rate, and even add to with your own biological emissions. Bonus features include a Shufflelike "Random Fart" player, an accelerometer-driven playback mode, and the envy of second-graders the world over.

Price: $0.99

Platform: iOS

Baby ESP

Similar to the Plant Whisperer app, this app lets your baby "talk" to you. Well, actually it doesn't. It's more of an activity tracker that lets you log your baby's sleeping patterns, bowel movements, numero unos, breast-feeding times, and medicine intake. This app does have some real-world uses, as long as you don't mind inputting the details of your child's "output" into your phone, over and over again.

Price: $3.99

Platform: Android

These Apps Are Fake

The fake apps in our slideshow were the following:

Sent From My...

Android PWNZ

Obsolescence Countdown Clock

Secret Word! From Pee Wee's Playhouse

Plant Whisperer

These Apps Are Real

The real apps in our slideshow were the following:

Screen Crack

Ghostroid Paranormal Detector

Booger Flick

Rate a Fart 2.0 (It was real at some point, but it's no longer available.)

Baby ESP