App network tracks celebrity news, even Patrick Swayze’s death

Sep 15, 2009
Tech

In today’s celebrity obsessed culture, its should not come as a surprise that there is an app to mark Patrick Swayze’s passing. The actor, who had pancreatic cancer, died Monday at 57. The app, called I Am T-Pain. That app, however, is designed so users can test a music technology known as auto-tune to try […]

In today’s celebrity obsessed culture, its should not come as a surprise that there is an app to mark Patrick Swayze’s passing. The actor, who had pancreatic cancer, died Monday at 57.

The app, called I Am T-Pain. That app, however, is designed so users can test a music technology known as auto-tune to try to sound like the hip-hop artist.

The Swayze app, like other SupaFan apps from Brighthouse Labs, simply collects current news about the subject. Other SupaFan apps are offered for Oprah, Angelina Jolie, Charlie Sheen, Christian Bale, David Spade and David Letterman, among many, many others.

If you’re an obsessed fan, these apps are for you.

But while some fans call this celebrity obsession available for your iPhone an homage, others call it iTunes spam.

In a May blog post, the Just Another iPhone Blog included Brighthouse Labs’ approach to content in its “App Store Hall of Shame”. Besides the SupaFan apps, Brighthouse creates apps for local news and travel guides. Each app sells for 99 cents and includes content on just one city or just one celebrity.

This “slew of  ‘single-serving’ apps … do almost exactly the same thing while chewing up tons of ‘shelf space’ in the App Store, basically polluting those shelves,” wrote the blog’s PatrickJ.

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Eric Benderoff

Eric Benderoff is the principal of BendableMedia.com, an editorial services firm, and a founding member of the Appolicious content strategy team. His personal technology column for the Chicago Tribune has appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide. He is a regular guest on Chicago's WGN Radio and is a frequent commentator about consumer technology on national TV news programs.

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