5 apps by celebrities that you should actually download

From Taylor Swift's greeting-card generator to Tom Hanks' "Hanx Writer," these celeb apps are surprisingly not bad VIDEO

Topics: Video, celebrities, Apps, smartphones, games,

5 apps by celebrities that you should actually downloadTom Hanks (Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

Tom Hanks has debuted his new app, “Hanx Writer,” a totally pointless but awesome creation that allows users to mimic the sound of the ancient technology known as the typewriter on an iPad. He’s pretty excited about it:

And, as far as apps by celebs go, it’s actually kind of charming! Usually, apps by celebs are lame, like Justin Bieber’s selfie app, or straight-up self-promotion, like Lady Gaga‘s. But in a few instances, celebrities create apps that are highly entertaining, funny, or even good for the world. For example:

Kim Kardashian

The real joke of Kim Kardashian’s video game app, “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” isn’t that it’s a video game by Kim Kardashian: It’s that it’s, as Vulture proclaimed, “legitimately good.” Lindsey Weber explains:

This is by far the most baffling thing about KKH. The game is very funny! And not just in a “ha-ha, look at me, I’m so crazy and stupid for playing this Kim Kardashian game” way. It plays off the absurdity of Kim’s entire career (she’s famous for “nothing”!), yes, but also the general absurdity of Hollywood and conceived vapidness of celebrity.

Bonus: The game has brought out the best in literary Twitterati.

William Shatner

Like Hanks, William Shatner capitalized on his campy Internet persona and got in on the joke with “Shatoetry.” The app is exactly what the portmanteau suggests: poetry with William Shatner. Available for iOS and Android, users can choose words of varying intonations, recorded by Shatner, and string them together to create a bizarre, Shatner-fied poem. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look:

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton is one of the few celebrities who has created an app not (entirely) for self-promotion, or to capitalize on Internet fame, but as a way to advance a social cause. When “Reading Rainbow” went off the air after 26 years, he found a new way to reach audiences via the tablet app, which soon became the top education app in the nation. His Kickstarter, which netted $6 million, will extend the vision of the app so that even more classrooms and children have access to it.

Alicia Keys

Though perhaps not on the same scale as Burton’s “Reading Rainbow,” singer Alicia Keys launched a storytelling app, “The Journals of Mama Mae and LeeLee,” to promote literacy and reading for kids. “This app also touches on intergenerational connections to our grandparents, how much they can teach and guide us,” she said upon its launch in 2012. “We came up with the concept by merging my experiences with my nana, who was and is still so magical to me, and how this character, Mama Mae, helps LeeLee through life experiences.”

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s greeting card app would probably be cooler if it demonstrated some self-awareness of the fact that Taylor Swift comes across like a human greeting card, but that’s forgivable when you realize that it’s still a fun app. Like a Hallmark greeting card, it provides inspirational quotes and thoughtful sayings with pretty text, which of course you can send ironically:

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows


Loading Comments...