Regarding that 'I Am Rich' App - Use a Credit Card instead of a Debit Card on your Account
Our beloved series of tubes has been going crazy over the "I Am Rich" application from the App store. It's a $999 application that does nothing but prove you've got $999 to blow on an application which displays a red diamond. It's a little funny, as Kottke points out, as a commentary on the iPhone as status symbol.
The question, though, is whether or not Apple should have let it up in the first place and whether they (or the original developer) should have taken it down. Kottke notes that Apple really shouldn't be in the business of pulling apps based on bad taste and we're inclined to agree. Both in our podcast and here and there throughout the aftermath of the 2.0 software announcement, we expressed concern that Apple's total control of what goes up on the App store has the potential to be abused.
On the other side of things, however, is the concern that Apps -- especially useless, thousand-dollar apps -- are a little too easy to purchase. Gizmodo reports that there was a review up on the app (pictured at right) that detailed one user's sorry tale of accidental purchase.
We're going ot go ahead and express two opinions here. One: buyer beware. We don't want any added complication in purchasing apps (though we could compromise and say any app over $50 would require another approval step). We'll also add that, like the consumerist always tells us, we recommend that you attach a credit card to your iTunes account instead of a debit card that's attached directly to your checking. That way if something goes wrong, it's not your money that's missing while you work fixing your purchasing snafu.
The second opinion we'll express a little more provisionally. Given that we'd rather have Apple include crappy apps than have them censor, it's not going to be too long before it starts to feel like the iTunes Store is going to need better ways to discover and evaluate apps. We don't know if trial software is in the cards, so in the meantime keep an eye on our review section and our iPhone Software forum -- both are good resources to get other users' opinions before you buy.