Lately, we’ve found more than a few around us to be hopelessly hooked on Word Warp. The iPhone app is a time-chomper with great big jaws that easily consume several hours in the seeming blink of an eye. Like rats with a thumb, you’re tap, tap, tapping away at letters, hoping to get the prized six letter word before time runs out. Someone recently advised downloading it only if you’re going on vacation to a beach with lots of ugly people. Word Warp happens to be a free download. And it’s just another incarnation of other popular word games such as Text Twist. We can’t say if that has anything to do with its popularity because free downloads are rather abundant. Doesn’t the word free come with a lasso around your neck anyway? Regardless, behind the scenes there is turbulence around the idea of free and cheap downloads. Application developers are often not people sitting in a dorm room dreaming up new ideas – but they could be. More likely a small or large software business is spending weeks, possibly months writing the application code. Some developers believe there will never be enough downloads of cheap, say 99 cent apps to make it worth their time. Additionally, industry watchers believe the market for cheap apps is at a plateau. They would probably like to see more downloads of say, Stockadvisor at $19.99, a price that’s well above some of the actual stocks it advises on. And just when you think the app world might be headed for a more sophisticated approach, comes news that a flatulence simulator app for $4.99 is quite popular. We’ll just leave that alone and return to our Word Warp game, a.k.a. our drug. And while we’re here, we just wish that when coming up with words for the letters in G-O-B-L-I-N, we could say “bling,” which everyone except the dictionary knows is a word. Either way, without cheap, fun apps there would just be cage-fighting, and not all of us are suited to that.