Some free iPhone apps rake in far more revenue than their paid counterparts. Take Inedible Software’s Shotgun, a free app that lets you load and fire a virtual shotgun by tilting your device accordingly, sort of like you’d wield the real thing. Thanks to in-game ads, this app rakes in $900+ in daily revenue, none of which is shared with Apple. While Shotgun fights for shelf space and your attention in the App Store alongside thousands of other free iPhone apps, it pairs the concept of free with an eyebrow-raising idea to raise above the mediocrity of junky $0.99 offerings.

Developers are taking notice of ad-supported apps.

Drawing from the nation’s obsession with guns, the app reproduces the loading and firing sounds of a shotgun. The twist: the app taps the iPhone’s accelerometer sensor to simulate the loading and firing. For example, in order to cock the on-screen shotgun, hold your device vertically and tilt it rapidly down then up. Do this right and you’ll hear a recognizable sound of a shell being chambered. From there, simply align your device horizontally and tilt it up sharply to fire the gun. That’s all there is to it, really.

Unlike most entertainment apps fitting a similar description, such as fart machines and steam generators, Shotgun is provided free of charge in exchange for putting up with small 300×50 pixel adds that rotate at the UI bottom, courtesy of the Palo Alto startup dubbed MobClix. Hailed as the largest mobile ad exchange network, MobClix connects iPhone developers to thousands of advertisers who buy ad slots in mobile apps.


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