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iLickit: Lick Plates of Food Off Your iPhone Karishma Sundaram | , 8:20 p.m. Oct. 7, 2009 2009-10-07

Apple evidently finds it impossible to stay out of the news. Whether or not the old newspaper adage holds true that all news is good news, and it has positively affected the iPhone, no one outside of Apple and very few inside will ever know. 

Once again, the App Store has accepted an app that is not only weird, but a little gross as well, depending on how one looks at it. Granted it does not have Emoji, the fact that iLickit still made it to the App Store’s hallowed portals is still a shocker. 

While props are given to the application developer who can think this far outside the box to come up with a game like this, but apart from that, the app is just plain odd. iLickit is a game that is played using one tongue. If that evokes images of flicking one’s tongue near the phone and somehow the phone picks up on that movement, that image would be wrong. This particular app works with the direct application of the user’s tongue on the screen of the phone. Those graphic images should be interesting; however for those of us whose mind boggles at such goings on, here is a video demonstration of the game on YouTube.

The game works by serving the user a dish of grandma’s food. The user then has to literally lick the plate clean by licking the screen of the phone. The game calculated the time it takes to lick the plate clean. When playing, the food disappears in swipes, where tongue pressure has been applied. There is a range of food to choose from as well. 

The game claims to be the first game a user plays with their tongue. Although there are other apps that involve licking icecream cones onscreen, those are not in the game format. Apparently, it is fun just to lick virtual icecreams off one’s phone. There is also a ‘tongue optimized engine’, which presumably means that if someone was crazy enough to use their finger they would be disqualified. 

The app has been received with a lot of incredulity and even more ridicule. Of course, there is no way that an app like this could ever be taken seriously. If the developers are expecting widespread adoption, they will be sadly disillusioned. Not many people are going to be willingly seen licking the surface of their phones. Unless of course the developer manages to somehow add taste. 

Apart from the sheer craziness of the app itself, there are the rather more serious aspects to consider. Firstly, licking the iPhone can hardly be good for the screen. While it is a rather disgusting thought, there is the potential for water damage. Water damage is something that is invariably not covered under warranties too. A second consideration, albeit a personal one, is the sanitary aspect of licking a device. Before playing with this app, it is worth a user’s while to give it a good clean with a wet wipe, or maybe a disinfectant.

Check out the blog about the app here.

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