But what about the hundreds, nay thousands, nay millions of apps out there that are completely unnecessary? What indeed! Presenting, five completely awful, weird, fantastic apps that you will probably download anyways.
Because you should. Because enjoy yourself.
1. Biaoqing Gongchang (表情工厂)
If you thought stickers couldn't get any more annoying, think again. With Biaoqing Gongchang ("expression workshop"), you can add your very own face to stickers that will crash your phone and set ARM chip technologies back for generations. Yeah, that's right.
It Goes Like This:
You take a pic of your face (or that of someone you hate, like this guy) and pick the ridiculous animation to plant it on.
Import to WeChat.
And congratulations. Now you're that guy in your WeChat group. Thanks, Biaoqing Gongchang! Always wanted to be that guy.
2. Makeup Plus
You've probably heard of Meitu, the photo editing app that allows you to make your face the way god intended it to be. Makeup Plus is one of Meitu's sister apps. It does a lot of what Meitu does -- it allows you to digitally sandblast your facial features to a Platonic ideal -- with a bigger focus on makeup. Now you can add foundation, eyeliner, lipstick, and more to your selfies and preexisting photos.
This one's putting graphic artists and cosmetics companies out of business. This is why your Tinder/Tantan date is a German Shepherd and not a supermodel.
It Goes Like This:
For this demonstration, we'll be using this unfortunate young woman's picture, because it came with the app. Really sorry about this, Miss. You are in possession of an inner beauty that needs no digital modification. You may want to consider firing your agent.
Top notch investigative journalism happening right here people! Top notch!
Below they've also got the option for eyelids. I mean of course they do. They've got to. Eyelids are the best. You can never have enough eyelids -- double, triple, quadruple eyelids. Wasn't that one of Kant's favorite maxims?
I think we all know where this is going. She's going to look like Britney Spears, like the good years Britney Spears. And it's unfair. It's completely UNFAIR.
In the third image there you can directly alter your bone structure. Usually, people use this on the eyes. Do the "look around" function on your WeChat; you'll see at least three people with cheekbones like ski slope moguls and chins like The Joker. This is what happens when you over do it.
Feels like there's a metaphor somewhere in this image about peeling back one's exterior to reveal one's true self. Or, paradoxically, adding layers of artifice onto one's self to reveal one's true nature? Something like that. Something metaphorical is happening here.
In the final option, you can add stars, freckles, mustaches, hearts, and other completely necessary add-ons.
3. Qing Chi Fan (请吃饭)
Qin Chi Fan offers a new spin on dating apps by giving users the option to pay for meals. That's right, they're bringing something completely fresh to the mix. Now you can pay for your first date dinner like never before!
It goes like this:
You post an ad with the name of the restaurant that you want to take a prospective date to. And you can either choose to treat them to dinner (我请客) or split the bill (AA). Then, other users can sign up for the date, and you get to choose who you take.
(Actually, we've got a similar feature on SmartShanghai Dating. We keep it classy like that.)
Strangely, the ladies always seem to want to AA...
And the guys definitely have no expectations after treating the women.
Just look at this young man. Taking you to that nice, little mom and pop noodle shop, Ultraviolet. Just going to walk you home after that.
Goodnight kiss maybe.
4. Zu Wo (租我)
So, you dropped 10k on Ultraviolet with Qing Chi Fan and that's nice and all, but aren't you tired of just paying for dates? Don't you also want to PAY YOUR DATE too?
Worry no more! With Zu Wo, you can literally rent a human being to spend time with you!
That's right folks. You can rent a human being. To briefly share their lives with yours for a predetermined period of time.
Just look at the fine selection here.
Let's check out the prices on one of these.
She wants to "看电影". Who wouldn't want to drop 666rmb/hour for her to watch a movie with you? She probably wants to see Ben Hur. She an ancient European history buff!
There's also a nifty "Nearby" feature, that shows you who's on the app nearby. Strangely it's just a bunch of bros in their 30s on that tab.
5. Meinu Shipin (美女视频)
Live streaming apps are blowing up right now. There's a million of them. It's kind of like the Didi/Uber situation. No one's really sure who's going to win (let's be honest, it's Didi), so instead of reviewing all of them, I just picked the one that's the most honest about what these apps are really all about.
Meinu Shipin ("Beautiful Girl Stream").
Viewers can buy points to spend on stickers to gift the girls and in return, they get to interact with an attractive woman possibly for the first time in their lives. Girls can then convert the points back into money and the app makers take a cut. Win-win-win.
Definitely a lot of pretty ladies on here. Looking into the camera. Twirling their hair. Fully clothed (it's all PG here). Reading your messages. Answering your dumb-ass questions.
It Goes Like This:
Viewer: "What did you eat today?"
Girl: "I had a salad."
Viewer: *throws 1000rmb at girl*
Some of the girls will actually put a bit more effort into their stream. Lots sing. Some put on dance shows. And guys have to do whatever they can to get attention. Tough world out there for guys who want to stream.
Sometimes joining one of these feeds is like walking in on your roommate without knocking. There's the knee jerk reaction of OH JESUS WHAT IS THAT as you try to slam the door shut before something awful gets burned into your retinas.
Meanwhile, getting caught watching these meinu streams during work hours is like getting walked in on by your parents.
It's for an article I'm writing, guys! No really, it's like for an apps article, I swear!