A new Applelet for the iPhone has been blocked for sale by Apple. Called iVoiceMorph, the app changes the timbre and pitch of the speaker's voice into one of a range of downloadable voices in real time.
"It was meant to be a bit of a hoot," said app creator, Mucha Sterling. "Our users download the app and a few voice apps so that when they make or receive a call, they can pretend to be somebody else."
Alongside the standard voices, such as a male to female convertor, a female to male converter, an old lady and a young child it is also possible to download celebrity voices, including Ricky Gervais, Prince Charles and Sean Connery.
"It was very popular," said Sterling. "The app itself costs just seventy-five pence, with each voice pack costing just fifty pence. We'd sold thousands, and were heading up the download charts."
After a high-profile case where a kidnapper used the app to sound like Barak Obama, Apple quickly stepped in to block further downloads of the app, much to the dismay of Sterling.
"We're considering legal action," said Sterling. "I'm sure people can misuse the Near Here app, or the iFart app."
Support for Sterling and his app has come from an unlikely source: The London Metropolitan Police department.
"We have been using this app extensively," said Detective Inspector Phil Inns, head of the Paedophile Ring at Scotland Yard. "We would allow an officer to be groomed on a chat site. Paedo-arseholes had got wise to us, and we're insisting on talking to the children before they would arrange a meeting. iVoiceMorph has been invaluable, as our officers could give out a mobile number and talk to the scumbags, setting them up for a sting. We'd shut down three rings so far, but Apple's haste is putting our operations in jeopardy."
Other users of the app are equally annoyed at Apple.
"I've been using this to have an affair with my own wife," said one user, Christopher Jennings of Fazakerly, who preferred to remain anonymous. "Bastards. Just cos some Barak Obama wannabe kidnaps a child, and my love life is ruined."