Controversy pays off for start-up’s “dreadful” pregnancy app

Start-up Appy Dudes has seen the controversy over a spoof pregnancy app, slammed as “absolutely dreadful” by a family planning group, pay off, with the app hitting the number one top paid entertainment download spot in Australia.

 

Knocked App, created by Dain Hedgpeth, Kevin Lippy and Angus Mullane, is an iPhone app that digitally alters images to make users appear nine months’ pregnant.

 

Hedgpeth, Lippy and Mullane – also known as Appy Dudes – have been working on their creation at Sydney co-working space Fishburners.

 

After taking two months to be approved by Apple, the app went live on August 16, soaring to number one in the entertainment category in the Australian App Store, and climbed to 11th spot for top paid apps in Australia’s entire App Store.

 

It has also been used by one of the stars on controversial Australian television show The Shire.

 

“It started on the back of a Startup Weekend where a bunch of us got together and created this app. We thought it was hilarious – a bit of a laugh,” Lippy told StartupSmart.

 

“If people could impregnate each other digitally, we thought it was something that would take off.”

 

“We always knew the app itself would be a little bit controversial but at the end of the day, it’s no different to putting a basketball under your jumper.”

 

“It’s also quite a sharing concept, so that’s what we think is the underlying reason why it’s going so great… There’s no limit to it. It’s a place for everyone.”

 

“[The app can be used by] people all around the world – pregnancy can affect everybody. Everyone can have fun with [the app].”

 

Appy Dudes admits it took “a staggering two months in review” before Apple approved Knocked App. According to Mullane, the average time for Apple to approve an app is 10 days.

 

The review process includes ensuring the app meets specific guidelines around classifications such as offensive language and nudity.

 

Appy Dudes now has big plans for the rollout of Knocked App, which “brings pregnancy into the digital age”.

 

“Using ‘evolutionary’ photographic impregnation technology, it reduces your term from nine months down to mere seconds,” Appy Dudes says on the App Store.

 

“Take a photo of yourself or a friend, push a button and the app will add a nine-month baby bump.”

“Spread this joyous news to your friends immediately via Facebook, Twitter or email. Ruining your parent’s day has never been so easy!”

 

While Fishburners has joined Appy Dudes in celebrating its success – describing its performance in the App Store as a “serious win” – not everyone is impressed.

 

“I personally think it’s bad taste… I don’t think you have to try to cause controversy to succeed,” wrote one commentator on Silicon Beach Australia.

 

Meanwhile, Joanne Ramadge, chief executive officer of Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia, has slammed the app as “absolutely dreadful”, linking the app to teen pregnancies.

 

“Teenage pregnancy is an extremely serious issue and to treat it in such a trivial way is not a considered or helpful approach,” Ramadge told The Age.

 

Knocked App joins other novelty apps such as Fat Face Booth, which makes users’ faces look fat, and Ugly Meter, which rates users’ ugliness on a scale of one to 10.

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