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These apps should sell at warp speed
Shatner app goes where no app has gone before

Date published: 11/3/2012

FOR A MERE $2.99, William Shatner will do spoken word performances you compose, complete with Shatneresque dramatic cadence and inflection. Match them with puckish images of Shatner. Save them and play them back again and again. Email them to friends. Post them on Facebook and tweet them.

An app called Shatoetry launched Thursday for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. An Android version is in the works. It boldly goes where no app has gone before.

Could this be the greatest app in the galaxy?

Some fans of Capt. Kirk of "Star Trek" may be disappointed.

It might be the best--in our quadrant of the galaxy, at least--if "KHAAAAN!" were included among the 300 words Shatner recorded for the app.

Unfortunately, the artsy but limited vocabulary doesn't permit that, or "Spock!" or "Warp 5, Mr. Sulu," or "Scotty we don't have two minutes!"

Nor is it possible to have Shatner say: "Spock you look really good in those pants," or "Scotty your breath smells like Tarcassian Razer Beast dung." There are no Klingonese curse words, either.

I personally would be willing to pay much more if Shatoetry expanded its vocabulary to 3,000 words and made it possible to have Shatner say those kinds of things.

Still, it's funny and great.

"People all over the world have been listening to my voice for so long, but they've only ever heard what I wanted to say," Shatner said in a press release. "I wanted to give people a means to express their thoughts and ideas, using my voice. It's a fun, creative app that I am certain people will enjoy."

Shatner recorded three variations in delivery of each word. Tapping a word on the Compose Field enlarges it for emphasis, ratcheting up the overacting. Dramatic pauses can be added and lengthened in the same fashion.

You can write Shatoetry solo or turn it into a game by passing the phone back and forth with a friend or playing someone thousands of miles away, setting time limits for choosing each word.

It's nerdy and wonderful.

Beam me app, Scotty.

Michael Zitz: 540/846-5163
Email: mikez@freelancestar.com