Monday, July 5, 2010

There's an app for that?

Maybe it's just that we pipe smokers have become accustomed to relative obscurity. Granted, there are plenty of us on the Internet forums, or at least there seems to be. But it is unusual for us to be noticed by the so-called mainstream. That's why it's a little surprising when even we can say, as Apple has taught us to, "There's an app for that."

If you do a search for "pipe" in the Apple App Store, you have to wade through a lot of apps not relevant to our particular brand of pipe. There are apps involving plumbing pipes, pipe organs, and half pipes. There's really no reliable way to filter those out, so you keep your eyes peeled for something smoking related. There's a hookah app that lets you "inhale" and "exhale" via your phone's mic. There is iSmoke, which shows a cigarette, cigar or even a pipe and allows you to influence the direction the smoke blows by moving the phone. And there's the sequel, iSmoke II, that acts like the hookah app, only with the smoking instruments in the original.
But then I came across something new, something unique, something unapologetically centered around the smoking pipe. It's called, simply, Pipe Tool, and it looks to be as multipurpose as the metal implements we all carry in our pockets. All the following judgements are from the available screenshots and descriptions, but the app appears to allow easy access to tobacco reviews and descriptions, searches for tobacco based on ingredients (or maybe just flavorings), and a mobile tobacco cellar inventory.
My only concern about this app is the price. New apps by unknown programers (when there is a fee) generally run between $1 and $3. Often, $5 is pushing it, but this one has a $7 price tag. In the interest of helping this programmer to succeed — I think we can all appreciate the benefit this app brings to our hobby — I'd offer this suggestion: Either offer an introductory sale price to get interest up or provide a free trial app with limited functionality that offers an extensive demonstration. You'll always get more people trying it and buying it if they can see it work first.
But even with my reservations, I am truly grateful that people are still working to improve this hobby that brings us so much joy. You can't believe pipe smoking is going away when there's an app for that.

No comments:

Post a Comment