Calm down, Ben [Update]

Ben Brooks has published his opinion on the “gamification” of iOS apps. The term refers to the process of requiring the user to jump through virtual hoops — like downloading an additional app — to unlock certain features. Most recently, an update to Clear shipped with several “secret” themes, two of which are unlocked by installing Path and Tweetbot.

Ben is understandably frustrated with the practice. It’s silly at best and manipulative at worst. I don’t understand why it makes him so angry. His short, 209-word post contains “dick” twice, “hate” twice and “bullshit” once. Then it ends with what seems like a virtual call to arms:

“It’s time to put an end to this.”

And how are you going to do that?

It’s OK to dislike the gamification of iOS apps. I certainly do. But is it worth getting this worked up over? It’s productivity software on a telephone. Let it go.

Update: Some nice perspective from Curious Rat:

“Clear isn’t an app for power-users. It’s a fun and whimsical little gem meant for casual list makers, so the idea of unlocking new themes by accessing different sections of the app isn’t off putting – it simply adds to the charm.”