If you think no one has ever thought those thoughts, then take a look at the i Phone charts right now. 37 at the time of this writing, more popular in the “free” category than Skype, Google Chrome or Yelp, is an app called Steve – The Jumping Dinosaur Widget Game.
Its key virtue: You can play it without unlocking your phone.
After you install the app, it walks you through how to add Steve to your i Phone or i Pad’s Notification Center, the menu of mini-apps that appears when you swipe from the top of the phone down.
What that means in practical terms is that you can go from looking at a locked phone to playing the game in about two seconds.
Iván De Cabo, who developed Steve over the course of one weekend, called it “ultra-casual.” On the one hand, Steve seems perfect for bored children and FBI agents who don’t the device’s passcode in the first place.
But its rave reviews on the App Store also point to other benefits.
“So convenient when you’re supposed to be being productive,” one reviewer wrote.
“When I am watching a video I can play this while it buffers,” said another.
The game itself is pretty simple: Steve is a dinosaur constantly running from left to right who has to jump over obstacles such as cacti.
De Cabo makes money (though he won’t say how much, exactly) by selling different skins for the game so that, instead of a running dinosaur, Steve becomes a near-beer version of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, a Pokémon character or a Nyan Cat.
And the game itself may sound familiar if you are a savvy user of Google Chrome.
When that Web browser is unable to connect to the Internet, it displays an error message with a little black-and-white dinosaur.