Bandwidth meter and a handheld arcade classic: iPhone apps of the week

This week's apps include a quick and easy way to measure bandwidth and a simple game that somehow manages to keep you coming back for more.

iPhone (Credit: CNET)

The big news in the world of iPhone was Apple's sneak preview for the iPhone 3.0 software on Tuesday. Available this summer, iPhone 3.0 will bring many features people have asked for and some that will make things easier for developers of iPhone apps. The two major ones on my list were finally added: MMS (sending photos and other media) and the ability to cut, copy, and paste text. There are a ton of changes coming, so check out our coverage if you want to know all of the changes in iPhone 3.0.

This week's apps include a quick and easy way to measure bandwidth and a simple game that somehow manages to keep you coming back for more.

speedtest.net Speed Test

Watch as Speed Test measures your current broadband speed

(Credit: CNET)

Speed Test (free) from Speedtest.net quickly tests your bandwidth speed wherever you are. A sleek blue speedometer comes to life when you hit the "Start Test" button, first measuring your download speed (the time it takes for data from the server to get to your iPhone), then upload speed (the time it takes for data from your iPhone to get to the server). You can then save the results, making it easy to track available bandwidth in different locations. By moving to different locations, you can even find out which parts of your house get a better Wi-Fi connection--useful if you want to download or update a big app.

10 Balls 7 Cups

Watch for and hit the lit-up cups to get the highest score.

(Credit: CNET)

10 Balls 7 Cups (99 cents) is a surprisingly fun and challenging Skeeball game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Using crisp 3D graphics and a realistic physics engine, this game manages to capture what it's like to play Skeeball in an arcade. Each game you get 10 balls you can roll down the alley in an attempt to make them land in one of the seven cups of varying score values. Tilt your iPhone to add spin as your ball rolls down the alley. While playing, random cups will light up, and if you manage to land a ball in the cup, you get a score multiplier that lasts until the end of the game. Hit another lit-up cup to increase your multiplier. At the end, you receive tickets depending on your score that you can use to purchase silly items in the store.

When I first saw this game, I thought about how much I liked playing Skeeball as a kid, but didn't think it would translate well for the iPhone (or I would get bored quickly). But soon I was playing game after game, trying to get bonus multipliers, and getting higher scores. The only problem I have with this casual game is that there are no graphics for the silly items (Finger trap! Glittery T-shirt! Submarine (rare)!) in the store. But overall, this simple game is a great time-waster. If you're still not convinced, watch the trailer (I couldn't resist).

What's your favorite iPhone app? Got a better speed test or other useful utility I should check out? What's your best casual iPhone game? Let me know in the comments!

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