There’s an endless supply of apps available in the Apple and Google Play stores today. In fact, for as many strange and random interests as there are out in the world, there’s as likely an app offering a specific product or service just for that cause.
There are apps that supply daily demotivational memes, others that help users find a cuddle partner. There’s even ‘The Most Useless App Ever’, which has a single button that users are encouraged to press. What happens? Nothing.
But behind the most successful (and useful) apps, there are often huge teams of developers and designers, as well as plenty of investors and beta users waiting for the next version. A celebrity backer is there for brand recognition, and sometimes little more.
Many, from Kim Kardashian to William Shatner, have looked to leverage their star power into a successful app. The results, no matter how odd or poorly developed, tend to do well thanks to big-name association.
The more original the idea and the more accessible the pricing and design of the app, the better they perform over long periods. Let’s look at three of the best celeb-created apps available today.
Cristiano Ronaldo, CR7Selfie: Fans with a Cause
Of all the celeb-created and backed apps, few have gone the distance like this project from soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo. In 2016, Ronaldo and Save the Children launched the CR7Selfie app to raise funds for charity.
The app had several images of the star striker, including Ronaldo in a tux and singing karaoke. Through the app, fans could pose in a virtual selfie with the pro and then share the photo to their social media feeds.
The move was popular among fans, who are used to interacting with players like Ronaldo from a distance via sports betting and fantasy leagues. He’s a popular topic in the sports world—even in the US, where soccer isn’t regularly covered.
Sites that offer promo codes from DraftKings and other popular, US-based sportsbooks dedicate bets specifically to the player. For example, DraftKings offered a happy hour promo on Ronaldo’s performance against Germany in a recent Euro 2020 faceoff. This type of far-reaching, cross-cultural appeal made the app one of the biggest releases in 2016.
Hardest to Put Down
T-Pain, I Am T-Pain 2.0
Ronaldo may have opted for a selfless selfie app, but T-Pain stuck to what he knows best: auto-tune. The southern rapper became an icon (or villain) in the early 2000s for introducing auto-tune to hip-hop and R&B.
Many critics and music fans judged T-Pain for popularizing the voice effect—but not enough that they’d refuse to try it out for themselves. Back in 2009, T-Pain launched I Am T-Pain to allow his fans the experience of singing with auto-tune (or, in this case, the T-Pain Effect).
Even better, the app lets users sing along to T-Pain’s most famous songs. There are also original beats from producers that users can use to freestyle and create their own unique sound. Active for over a decade and priced at $2.99, the app has been a solid investment for the musician and endless entertainment for pop music fans.
Tom Hanks, Hanx Writer
Back in 2014, Tom Hanks decided to leverage his celebrity to launch one of the most irrelevant and popular apps – the Hanx Writer. The app has one single purpose: transform an iPad into a virtual typewriter.
The app allows users to type into a simulated typewriter, which comes with all the associated ‘bangs’ and ‘clicks’ of the clunky machine. However, users aren’t saddled with all the inconveniences that come with using a real typewriter. Instead, the app allows users to print, email, correct, and make other changes to their documents.
The app is free to download, but microtransactions allow users to upgrade their virtual typewriter. There are variations such as the Hanx 707 and the Hanx Prime Select. Since being released seven years ago, the app continues to perform well in terms of downloads and ranking.