Full-screen control

Air Mouse for iPhone and iPod Touch gives you several reasons you would want to turn your iPhone into a remote control over your keyboard and mouse: ease, convenience, and a broad range of control. The gesture mode of navigation takes advantage of the iPhone's accelerometer to move your mouse across the screen. The touch-pad mode keeps your arm stationary while you trace the mouse trajectory on the iPhone face with your finger.

Add to those a full virtual keyboard with extra buttons, such as Control and Alt, that are compatible with your PC or Mac, a second keyboard … Read more

Your own skate jam!

TouchGrind is good game for anyone who likes skateboarding or fingerboarding, but it could use a little work to make it a great game. Pick a board and either practice your moves in your backyard (Warmup); practice tricks and attempt your single-trick high score at the main park (Jam Session); or go for the high score in a timed format at the main park (Competition). TouchGrind lets you use two fingers on your touch screen to control your board for turning and performing tricks. An easy-to-understand How To section helps you get used the controls. The physics are very good, … Read more

In Flickr's mobile upgrade, video!

Flickr's mobile Web site hasn't traditionally been in step with its popular Web app. A fresh lick of paint and some API work under the hood brings the two experiences much closer in line.

On Thursday, Yahoo-owned Flickr pushed out a very worthwhile upgrade to its mobile-optimized site,

Video streaming is the big draw. As on since last April, anyone accessing Flickr from an iPhone or iPod Touch can play videos hosted on Flickr's servers. In a few weeks, Flickr will unlock this capability for anyone using a Webkit, Opera Mobile (but … Read more

Seven awesome iPhone freebies

As a mostly ecstatic new iPhone owner, I've spent considerable time checking out--you guessed it--the hundreds of freebie apps available from iTunes. Here's a list of seven I'm loving right now. (Note: all links are for iTunes.)

AroundMe Instantly find nearby banks, gas stations, coffee shops, and other businesses and services. Dashbuster Manage your Blockbuster or Netflix queue anytime, anywhere. Great for those times when a friend recommends a movie and you think, "Yeah, I gotta rent that." Movies This Flixster-powered app finds cineplexes near you, then serves up show times, trailers, and even upcoming … Read more

For a silver screen near you

This heavily redacted version of Movies, one of the first movie apps available for iPhone and iPod Touch, displays titles, tickets, and showtimes for current and upcoming movies and DVDs, populated by Flixster. A much improved interface and better media integration lets you tap any entry to view a host of information and listings times. Tapping the publicist photo next to the entry launches a video preview. Video quality is fair-to-decent (you cna improve it in the Settings,) but attempting to download the preview without 3G or Wi-Fi coverage is pure futility.

The easily navigable app drastically improves on the … Read more

'Brothers in Arms: Hour of Heroes' storms App Store

When Apple finally announced the App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch, the door was opened to many possibilities. With its huge library of applications, the one thing that seemed to be missing was a World War II shooter. I'm sure many keen minds tried to bring a real game experience to this portable device, but a good control scheme is essential for a real gaming feel. Because of its lack of buttons, this posed a problem until now. On December 2, Gameloft's Brothers in Arms: Hour of Heroes landed in Apple's App Store.

This is the first WWII shooter to debut in the App Store; it also captures all the action from the Brother in Arms franchise and brings it to your iPhone.

13 missions in across 3 historical campaigns: Normandy, Ardennes & Tunisia Impressive 3D graphics and crisp clear audio The capability to command Jeeps and Sherman tanks to help advance the Allied forces across the battlefield A wide range of weapons at your side (bazooka, sniper rifle, machine guns, and so on) Use of the iPhone's accelerometer controls to launch grenades and the touch screen to aim at and shoot enemies

This game (check out the video below) will definitely make your morning commute seem a lot quicker.… Read more

iBowling a strike

iBowl is a fun, free bowling simulator that makes excellent use of the iPhone and iTouch's movement sensors. iBowl's simple and intuitive interface shows you looking down a bowling lane at a set of pins. You just drag your ball left or right to position it, hold down the "Bowl" button, and then swing your arm forward and back as if you were actually bowling to release the ball and determine its speed. iBowl has some fun extras like the ability to choose your ball color and send your score to a friend, but the gameplay … Read more

HTC focuses on phone design; acquires One & Company Design, Inc.

On Monday, HTC, the manufacturer of many of today's popular smartphones, announced its acquisition of San Francisco-based design firm One & Company Design, Inc (One & Co). A design company? Weird, right? Actually, not really.

If you've followed HTC over the years, you may have noticed its smartphones taking on a new look recently. The company has gone from the traditional Pocket PC-phone form factor of the HTC Mogul and the smaller but still bulky HTC SMT5800 to the sleeker HTC Touch Diamond and sexier HTC Touch Pro, and this is in large part due to One & … Read more

Entertainment dominates top iPhone applications

It's clear from the list of top applications downloaded from the App Store this year that iPhone and iPod Touch users are looking for entertainment.

Every year around this time Apple releases the most-downloaded songs and videos on iTunes, and this year is particularly interesting because it's the first year of the App Store. Six of the top 10 paid apps were games, including Apple's Texas Hold-Em and the heavily promoted Super Monkey Ball from Sega, but Koi Pond's mesmerizing virtual aquarium led the way as the top-selling paid application for the iPhone and the iPod … Read more

Zagat on iPhone: 'A disappointment' die-hards will still 'love'

Despite being a fan of Zagat's restaurant surveys, I've never been overly impressed with the mobile applications for Windows Mobile Smartphone and PocketPC, BlackBerry, and Palm.

Regrettably, Zagat To Go '09 for the iPhone and iPod Touch ($9.99 per year) isn't markedly different.

The components to a great mobile app are all there--venerable content, click-to-call, a Web site link, OpenTable reservations for some restaurants, and search and sorting filters--but the whole is somehow less than the sum of its parts.

Stability is a major concern, the app cries for an in-app browser, and Zagat To Go … Read more