Forgive me, iPhone, for I have sinned.

Gone are the days when tech savvy Catholics would list their sins and penances on an Excel spreadsheet. iPhone sinners now have an entire app devoted to the sacrament of confession, and it has the sanction of the Catholic church in the United States. The new app was developed by Little iApps, a three-man company in Indiana, who have come up with an ingenious new way to combine religion with profit. Described as an app, “Developed for Catholics who frequent the sacrament and those who wish to return,” it offers a technology-based personalized examination of conscience, as long as you remember your password. Finally, taking a bite of the Apple can cleanse humanity of its pernicious behaviors.

The app is based on a recent statement by Pope Benedict about the benefits of technology. “If used wisely,” the Pope said, It “can contribute to the satisfaction of the desire for meaning, truth and unity which remain the most profound aspirations of each human being.” This was taken very seriously by the iApp’s cofounder and developer Patrick Leinen. “Our desire,” he said, “is to invite Catholics to engage in their faith through digital technology.”

The new app coincides with iPhone’s new partnership with Verizon, which means that forgiveness is obtainable in the country’s largest network, without fear of calls being dropped (or could it be, sent to Purgatory?). One never need ask God, “Can you hear me now.”

But the “iConfess” is hardly the newest app for Apple products. Owlchemy Labs, a Boston-based company has produced a new game for the iPad called “Smuggle Truck: Operation Immigration,” expected to be released in March. In this game, you drive a truckload full of immigrants across the Mexican border with the U.S., flying over cliffs, winding around mountains, and swerving to avoid dead animals along the way. It’s a treacherous route, and immigrants inevitably fall off the truck bed. Your score is calculated by the number of immigrants you successfully get into the United States.

Some people are not amused, including Eva Mellona, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrants and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. “Last year 170 human beings died crossing the border,” she says. “It’s disgraceful that anyone would try to make money out of this tragedy by making light of it in a game.” The outrage is similar to the response to Electronic Arts’ “Medal of Honor,” which originally offered players the option of playing the role of Taliban fighters winning points by killing American soldiers.

Ted Turner seems to have inspired the creators of the games when he said, “Life is a game. Money is how we keep score.” At least there is a new option for the creators of the games who feel a sense of contrition. They can always download the iPhone confessional and make atonement for their sins.
Read More at the New York Daily News.
Read More at NBC Bay Area.