Monthly Archives: March 2011

Logan brings the funny and the terror.

Logan is becoming quite the charmer, and the terror. Like all babies he vacillates easily between a mercurial mix of effervescent laughter and shrieking anger. Sometimes he’s most amusing in between the two, when he delivers a displeased glare, scrunching up his eyebrows in a way that’s all to familiar to me.

Some times he’s just down right goofy, like when he chased Puddles down and licked her on the nose. We were playing outside when Logan walked right up to Puddles and licked her on the shoulder. Encouraged by my laughter, he did it again, but got her right on the kisser that time. My laughter increased as Puddles’ confusion increased. By the time I got out my phone to take this video, Puddles had decided she’d had enough of Logan turning the tables on her. Licking people in the face was her job!

Other times, the thing that Logan does dances feverishly between cute and creepy. Playing with toys in a store? That’s cute. Banging cymbals together like an evil possessed monkey? That’s creepy. You be the judge.

The Talking Carl Crisis

If you’re an iPhone user and the parent of a toddler, chances are very good that you know who Talking Carl is. On the simplest level Talking Carl is an iPhone application that repeats what you say to it. That’s a pretty sterile description though and fails to really capture the essence of Talking Carl.

Designed by Yann Le Coroller, Talking Carl is crimson cube of gelatin who screams, giggles, and mimics your every word. Kids love him. Adults love him. Talking Carl has consistently been one of top rated free iPhone apps and among the highest ranked.

Until very recently.

Talking Carl was distributed by a company called Awyse. Late last year they started making changes to the Talking Carl application, allowing you to download other characters, most of whom were frankly subpar. Where Carl was cute, endearing and lovable, the new characters were… terrible. At best they were viciously unimpressive. At worst they were ugly and offensive. It was not a good move.

I’m not privy to what happened, Awyse isn’t saying. Coroller’s website displayed the following message.

We are deeply sorry but we are not responsible for Awyse outrageous behavior regarding Talking Carl.

They were court-ordered to stop selling the application but instead they choose to gives you this trash bag.

Unimpressive

Unimpressive

Instead of choosing to simply stop distributing Talking Carl, Awyse issued an update to the application that replaced the lovable and cherished Carl with a poorly rendered cardboard box with a crayon sketched mouth. The app’s name was changed to Talking C. and the ruse of a contest to design the next character was introduced.

Here’s the kicker though. The update featured only the following information.

****new character and world challenge****

*!DO NOT UPDATE IF YOU WANT TO KEEP CARL!*

If you, like nearly everyone else who owns an iPhone, simply chose to Update All, you never even saw that notice. Now Carl was gone, there was no way to get him back, and your toddler was hurling your phone into the toilet. This may have happened to you and you weren’t even aware of it. I only noticed because I occasionally browse through the many app updates my phone issues to me.

The fallout was swift.

An app that had previously been at the top of the ratings and download list, fell in stature precipitously. The backlash against Awyse was tremendous. Nearly all of their app business appears to be talking characters, and it remains to be seen if this is a faux pas they can recover from.

If you’ve been a victim of this spectacle, and your toddler hasn’t destroyed your phone yet, the good news is that there’s a resolution. In the last week, Coroller has swiftly released the original Talking Carl app and it’s been approved by the iTunes App Store.

You can all breath a sigh of relief now.