Apple is getting closer every second to reaching 50 billion downloads from its App Store, and the tech giant is celebrating with a giveaway for whoever downloads that 50 billionth app. The lucky Apple fan will win a $10,000 gift card to the Apple Store, while the 50 customers after that to download an app will receive a $500 gift card. This seems like an awesome prize, but when many apps in the App Store are already free or pretty cheap at $0.99 to $2.99, how can that winner possibly spend $10,000? We did some digging and found the most expensive apps for Apple, from a home automation system to 'The Millionaire's App' to an app that helps you prep for the bar exam.
VIP Black - $999
Similar to the American Express Black Card, which is an invitation-only credit card that only the super affluent can own, VIP Black (opens in new tab) is an iOS app that only those with serious dough can own. The $999 app, coined 'The Millionaire's App,' is a premium lifestyle app where members receive VIP treatment. Basically, the app has a number of partner venues, including Gordon Ramsay Restaurants, Virgin Limited Edition and Firmdale Hotels, where members can visit and enjoy special perks just because they own the app. What kind of perks? For starters, surprise gifts, welcome packages, complimentary room upgrades and priority access.
However, you can't get the perks just by forking over $999: After downloading, users must prove they are 'High Net Worth Individuals,' or individuals with assets and/or income exceeding $1 million. After passing that little test, users receive a personal consultation to see how VIP Black can best suit their needs, from a butler to a personal trainer to a private jet.
Water Globe - $219
Remember those snow globes you used to collect when you were little? The Water Globe (opens in new tab) app for iOS is like a snow globe on crack. After downloading the app, you can use your finger to shake up the snowflakes, as well as physically shake and tilt your iPhone to create that snow motion. Plus, if you get bored of the same snow globe, you can change the background, gravity, snowflake size and amount of snow. And if you want a festive screen saver, Water Globe lets you set it to snow storm mode and leave it running. However, there are several free snow globes apps on the App Store, so we're not sure why you'd pay more than $200 for this one.
Mobile Cam Viewer Enterprise Basic Version - $349
The next time you're out of town enjoying all those perks from your VIP Black app, you can track what's going on at home or your office to make sure everything's safe. Mobile Cam Viewer Enterprise Basic Version (opens in new tab) converts your iPhone into a home automation service, where you can control your live security and surveillance cameras, DVR, video servers and webcams from anywhere. Your access information is encrypted, so not even the app's engineers can view your streams, You can use it on major carriers like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless, and all Windows built-in webcams and USB webcams are supported. We found several home automation apps on iTunes, though, that were free, and others that were in the $50 price range, so we'd like to know what makes Mobile Cam Viewer Enterprise Basic Version so special to warrant it a price tag of $349.
TouchChat HD - AAC - $149
For those with a disorder that affects their ability to speak, like autism, Down Syndrome, ALS or stroke, TouchChat HD - AAC (opens in new tab) is a communication solution that helps them speak. Words and phrases are spoken using a built-in voice synthesizer or by playing a recorded message, and users can choose a voice that fits their personality. Each user can customize pages based on what buttons they frequently use: There are buttons to speak a message, change the volume, etc. And if they're in a noisy environment, users can tilt the screen to display the message in large letters.
The Alchemist SMS - $399
The Alchemist SMS (opens in new tab) is an app for those in the steelmaking and scrap metal recycling industry, not, as its name (SMS) would infer, related to text messaging. SMS stands for Scrap Management System, and the app gives the necessary tools for reducing raw material costs. The user inputs his available inventory of metal scrap, then The Alchemist SMS designs a Charge mix that meets the desired molten metal chemistries. The app then produces a report in PDF format, and users can adjust their specifications at any time.
BarMax CA - $999
Want to pass your California bar exam? The makers of BarMax CA (opens in new tab) seem to think you need a $999 study app to score well on the legal exam. Created by Harvard Law School alumni, the app includes 50 hours of audio lectures from Harvard-educated law professors, almost 1,500 real MBE questions from previous exams, 130 real CA practice essays, 30 real CA performance tests and more than 800 flashcards.
Plus, you get unlimited email and phone support, and personalized essay feedback. In 2012 BarMax students had a pass rate of 73 percent, which is 22 points higher than the CA pass rate, so maybe this app is on to something.
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Agro - $349
Agro (opens in new tab) is an app specifically for agronomists, or, for those who have never heard that term, those dealing with field-crop production and soil management. The app helps these people create field inspection reports on the go, so they don't waste time driving to and from the office to type up those reports.
Agronomists store such information as client details, chemical requirements, crops and pests in the app, and complete their inspection reports after visiting a client. Agro can store hundreds of client details and eliminates the paperwork aspect of the job.
KGulf - $499
This education app simulates 2D tidal current and water level at any selected grid inside Arabian Gulf waters from 1975 to 2035. In addition to predicting the Arabian Gulf and Kuwait waters, KGulf (opens in new tab) also gives hourly output results, and is validated using a tide prediction model and field measurements.
We're guessing no one is buying this app for $500 unless they're in the field, but we could see it coming in handy when professionals need water level variations on short notice.
DDS GP Yes! - $499
This app for dentists helps them improve their presentation of dental conditions and treatment to patients. Basically, instead of speaking in dentist lingo, DDS GP Yes! (opens in new tab) teaches dentists to explain treatment plans in easy-to-understand terms for patients, which ultimately leads to greater case acceptance.
The iPad app has 37 audio tracks teaching the best way to explain conditions, and methods to influence patients to make the right health decision. While that audio is playing, slides, photos and drawings are displayed for additional understanding.
MPiStutter - $999
This app serves as an alternative to a stuttering therapist. MPiStutter (opens in new tab) supports Modifying Phonation Intervals stuttering therapy, which analyzes a user's vocal fold activity then trains him to eliminate too-rapid speech elements and speak fluently. This particular method of stuttering therapy was proven to help users reach "near zero" stuttering after two to three weeks of practicing two to three hours per day. So although the price is steep, perhaps you'd end up saving money instead of continuing treatment with a speech therapist for months or even years.