Free calls and air traffic control: iPhone apps of the week

This week's apps include Skype for iPhone and a simple game that offers an excellent interface for simulating one of the most difficult (and most stressful) jobs in the world.

iPhone

Do you have an app that you wish was on the iPhone, but hasn't been developed or ported over yet? Certainly we all have our wish lists when it comes to apps, but one that I've been waiting for since the beginning is the chat and VoIP program, Skype (Mac or Windows). Fortunately, the folks over at Skype have finally put together a great app for iPhone, and if you've never used Skype, I'm here to tell you why you will be soon.

This week's apps include Skype for iPhone and a simple game that offers an excellent interface for simulating one of the most difficult (and most stressful) jobs in the world.

Skype
Make calls just like you would on your iPhone. (Credit: CNET)

Skype (free) for iPhone and iPod Touch (!) lets you make calls to other Skype users for free with great sound quality and an interface that's easy to navigate. Current Skype users can log in using their regular username and password, or you can create a new account from the app. From there, simply add contacts who also use Skype and you'll be able to call them and text them without using your AT&T minutes or affecting your text limit. What might be even better, if you own an iPod Touch, all you'll need is a headset with a microphone to use your iPod Touch just like a phone!

In order for it to work smoothly, you'll need to have a reliably strong Wi-Fi--Skype calls will not work with 3G or Edge networks. To enable voicemail or get your own online phone number, you'll need to sign up with Skype at its Web site, but the rates are pretty affordable. Even without a paid plan, as long as you tell your friends to download Skype on their phones and let them know you're calling beforehand, you'll be able to talk as long as you want, wherever you want to call, without using your minutes.

Flight Control
You will come to hate those big jet planes. (Credit: CNET)

Flight Control (99 cents) seems like a relatively simple game at the beginning, offering 2D graphics with you looking down at an airport runway. As passenger jets begin to fly into your airspace, your job is to draw the flightpath to the runway so that the plane can safely land. Sounds easy, right? The only problem is, it gets much harder. Soon, biplanes and helicopters begin to show up and they each have their own runway and landing zones. As the game progresses your screen will become covered with aircraft, and it gets harder and harder to direct them to their landing spots without a midair collision. If there's one collision your game is over.

I downloaded this game a week ago and I still keep coming back to try to get a new high score. Flight Control is both incredibly challenging and very addicting and definitely worth the 99 cent price tag.

What do you think? What app do you wish would come out for the iPhone? Have you used Skype yet? What's your high score at Flight Control (mine is in the screenshot at the time of this post)? Let me know in the comments!

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.

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