iPhone apps of the week

This week's iPhone apps include a unique free game and a funny 99-cent app for getting out of awkward social situations.


I hate to start off this week's post with a another pet peeve I have, but I must say something about a problem I have with the iPhone/iTunes marriage. As always, please let me know if I'm missing something that might help my problem in the comments!

My question is this: Why can't I buy an app from the app store through iTunes on any computer and download it to my iPhone?

Understandably, I synced my iPhone to my home computer because that's where all my music is. But when I come to work and try to copy my apps to my work computer, I watch as they are each named during the "Transferring Purchases" process, but do not show up on the applications list under the applications tab in iTunes. When I try to sync a newly paid for and downloaded program from iTunes (at work) to my iPhone, my only option is to erase every app on my iPhone to be replaced by the incomplete list available on my work iTunes. Confused? So am I. All I'm saying is, if the account name is the same in each location, why shouldn't I be able to download purchased items and transfer them to my iPhone in every location? Arg! Again, if anyone has experienced this issue or has a fix let me know in the comments.

Now, on to the apps! Last week I recommended a couple of practical programs including the Wikipedia-friendly Wikiamo, and Free Translator, a language translation tool. This week I have a new game for your enjoyment and a sneaky app to get you out of awkward social situations.

Draw platforms to let your stick figure jump to the goal (gold star) (Credit: CNET Networks)

Trace is a free platform game in which the object is to guide your stick figure to the goal using the onscreen arrows and jump button to move. But what makes this game unique is you need to draw platforms for your character to jump on and walk across in order to reach your destination. As you move to the goal, you'll need to draw platforms to avoid moving obstacles and in some cases you'll need to erase previously drawn platforms to move further. Even though the graphics are very simple, the do-it-yourself aspect of moving through each level makes the game both challenging and uniquely rewarding. Even better, there are 120 levels with varying themes to keep you coming back for more.

Make sure to choose an important person for your fake call for best results! (Credit: CNET Networks)

FakeCalls is a 99-cent app, which helps you get out of awkward social situations and boring meetings by receiving a fake phone call on your iPhone. Simply hit the FakeCalls app icon on your iPhone home screen and FakeCalls will simulate a phone call to your iPhone a short time later complete with name, phone number, and wallpaper. Go to the iPhone settings for FakeCalls to change the name and number of the fake caller, how long until you receive the fake phone call, vibration on and off, call type (mobile, work, etc.), and wallpaper. At this time, FakeCalls only allows one ringtone (an acoustic guitar rif), but they promise an update very soon with more ringtones, settings, languages, and other fixes. It occurs to me that maybe it's a mistake to post this here because now everyone will wonder if that "urgent phone call" is a fake. At least it will work for you!

Got any new iPhone apps for me? Have you experienced the frustrating iPhone/iTunes issue I described above? Are you excited to trick your friends with fake phone calls? 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.