iPhone apps of the week

With so many iPhone apps to choose from, which ones are worth the download? Jason Parker takes a closer look at some of the latest iPhone apps to help you decide.

iPhone Apps

Apple's iPhone App Store grows every day with new free and paid offerings. The lion's share of apps (and clearly the most popular) have been games, now with 626 digital time wasters at the time of this writing. I check the App Store almost every day for new stuff--mostly in the free category, but I've also bought my share of iPhone apps, too.

What do I look for? To be honest, I like it all--from the completely useless, but funny programs to the legitimately useful everyday apps. When I sift through the various lists of apps on my iPhone, I make sure to check reviews before I download, but like everyone, I also take chances when it's something that looks interesting.

This week I found a couple of free apps that are definitely worth checking out.

Yes, sometimes you get a close up of someone's sofa, but that's part of the fun! (Credit: CNET Networks)

PhotoSwap is a time-waster that lets you get a small glimpse into the life of another iPhone user. Once PhotoSwap is on your iPhone, simply touch the camera icon and snap a picture, then hit Use Photo. The image is then sent randomly to another PhotoSwap user who can reply to your image with another image--kind of like a photo conversation. To round out the not-so-extensive feature list, you can touch Info to see a little message the other user might have left or the general location where they are (both are set up--or turned off--in the iPhone settings). Though it's not practical in any way, it's fun to see what people send you. Let me know how you like it in the comments.

Cannon Challenge
Slide your finger across the screen-sliders to aim your shot and then hit "FIRE!" (Credit: CNET Networks)

Cannon Challenge is my other recent download for the iPhone. Great for waiting in line or sitting at the airport, Cannon Challenge is a simple, but fun artillery game. Touch-screen sliders let you set the angle and velocity, and an onscreen fire button activates your Non-Line-of-Site (NOLS) Cannon. You're given a limited number of rockets to hit your targets in each round so it pays to be accurate. It's a fairly easy game, but there is some variation with changing backgrounds and some moving targets at higher levels. Great sound effects and vibrations accompany your direct hits. It's certainly not the greatest artillery game you'll ever play, but it's perfect as a free app on your iPhone.

I'll be coming back regularly with a new set of apps so if you're an iPhone user, check in for a closer look at some of the best (or worst) iPhone apps.

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.