iPhone apps of the week

This week's apps are both paid apps and include a fun photo-editing program and an arcade-like game that's extremely addictive.


I scout several Web sites every week for new iPhone applications to try to find what I think are the most useful (or the most fun) for everyone who reads this column. A couple of weeks ago, I featured a budgeting application that I thought had some nice features, but a user quickly pointed me in the direction of something much better.

Get a full overview of your financial status on one screen (no, that's not mine). (Credit: CBS Interactive)

Mint.com (Free) is an excellent money management tool that automatically syncs up with your accounts to help you follow a budget on your iPhone. The interface is well designed, letting you quickly navigate several accounts, track spending, and check your current status with only a few touches. You also can visit the Mint.com Web site to manage accounts and help you setup specific budgeting goals. Then you can simply check your iPhone application to stay on top of your finances. Thanks again to "drbnx" for the great tip!

As always, please continue to let me know when you have an application that's better than one I'm featuring so I can let everyone else know!

Now let's get down to this week's picks. This week's applications are both paid applications and include a fun photo-editing program and an arcade-like game that's extremely addictive.

Once your editing is finished you can choose from several different graphics to add to your images (Credit: CBS Interactive)

Photogene ($2.99) is an image editor for your iPhone that lets you make simple edits and add graphics to your images. Choose between photos you have downloaded or ones you've snapped using your iPhone and then use Photogene to add some flavor. On the editing side, you can crop, color correct, sharpen, rotate, and add effects to your images. But you also can have some fun by adding frames to your images or thought and speech balloons. There are several variations of graphics to choose from and smart tools such as the ability to move the tail of thought balloons, means making fun images is extremely easy. When you're done, simply save the image file to your iPhone.

Blue Attack!
Figure out the best strategy and formations to assault your enemies (not pictured) (Credit: CBS Interactive)

Blue Attack is easily one of the best shooters for iPhone with excellent graphics, multiple levels, and several ship upgrades. Choose between tilting your iPhone or using the touch screen as you guide your ship and wingmen to destroy enemies. Protect your mother ship as the onslaught of red enemies brings larger and larger foes for you to break down and destroy. Use credits won during your battles to buy more wingmen (more bullets) and upgrade your ship speed, maneuverability, number of guns per ship, and much more.

What makes Blue Attack! especially good, is the capability to switch between several formations with up to eight wingmen in tow. You'll quickly develop strategies for different types of foes by arranging your ships to maximize your bullet streams. The controls are difficult to get used to early, but after a few games you'll be a pro. Two game types include an arcade version with finite levels and an infinite game type, to battle wave after wave of red ships. If you can't already tell, I highly recommend this game.

What's your favorite iPhone app? What do you think of Mint.com? Do you have a better iPhone photo editor to tell me about? How far have you gotten in Blue Attack? 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.