I never buy an iPhone application if I’m going to have to pay for it.

The closest I’ve ever come was when I discovered an app that turns your phone into a tambourine or maracas or a cowbell or one of several other alternative percussion instruments. The trial was incredibly fun: you had to shake your phone as though you were shaking a tambourine, and it sounded like one! How novel! But alas, the full version was $2.99. I stuck by my principles and settled for “DDRFree,” which plays a Scandinavian jig over which you can shake your tambourine-phone.

“Pluto Pluto,” an application created by Luke Harris ART ’10, may actually be worth the $1.99 price tag. I’m not entirely sure because as I was bemoaning my assignment (“Am I going to get reimbursed for this?”), I realized that I had $2.48 on my iTunes account from when my sister Leah input her Hanukkah gift card from our Aunt Shirlee last year. I don’t think Leah’s figured out that we share an account yet. I now have 34 cents on my iTunes, which is kind of annoying, but Hannukah is only two months away, right?


With “Pluto Pluto,” three balls + two taps + one finger = an infinite number of beats and sounds. It’s half addicting, half annoying, and 100 percent fun.

The app allows you to flick around three animated balls that make noise when they bump into each other or the edge of the screen. You can add, delete, pause and speed up each ball to create a different rhythm. And almost as exciting as the pretty sounds you can make — there’s one that makes this atmospheric new age music that always reminds me of that scene in the “Devil Wears Prada” where Andy goes to the party at the designer’s apartment and meets the hot young writer guy who helps her find the Harry Potter manuscript later on in the movie — is watching the pink, blue and green balls dance hypnotically across the black screen. The graphics are so much better than in the free applications.

It’s amazing what $1.99 will buy you these days.

I will admit that the app would be cooler if it had a motion sensor so you could move balls by shaking the phone or something. And it is a little annoying after a while – just ask my suitemates.

Still, if you get bored, you can always change the sound the balls make. But the best part is that it’s impossible to sound bad. Every combination of beats somehow ends up sounding like something out of Sic Inc. Thanks, Luke.