Movie database and an updated classic game: iPhone apps of the week

This week's apps include a popular database app for movie buffs and a huge update for one of the first iPhone games.


Looking at my iPhone yesterday, I noticed that there was a crack about a centimeter long right up the middle of the back of the handset coming straight from the charging area. It's hardly noticeable and I'm sure my iPhone will continue to work, but it definitely serves as a reminder that when my two-year contract is up in June, I'm going to be ready for a new iPhone.

Fortunately, a story over at AppleInsider points to a rumor that the next generation of iPhones are set to come out right about that time. Eldar Murtazin, an insider, said the next generation iPhone has recently been slated for production by Foxconn, Apple's Taiwanese iPhone manufacturer, putting the handset right in line for a June release. Some of the reworked features mentioned in the article include a new Apple-designed map replacement and the possibility for RFID swipe support (handy in checkout lines). Like any news related to Apple, almost everything revolves around rumors, but it does make me excited for when I can finally upgrade beyond the iPhone 3G.

This week's apps include a popular database app for movie buffs and a huge update for one of the first iPhone games.

IMDb for iPhone
The iPhone-friendly layout helps you get to info you want quickly (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

IMDb (free) is a new iPhone app that lets you access movie, TV, and celebrity information from the popular Internet Movie Database. Like the IMDb Web site, you'll be able to access just about any information you could want about movies, celebrities, TV shows, and photos, all on your iPhone. But even better than the Internet version, you'll also be able to browse movie and TV show times in your area once you give IMDb access to your location.

The interface for IMDb was clearly made for mobile, with a launch page that lets you access local movie and TV information so you can find a movie or schedule your evening viewing on the go. But at the very top of the interface is a searchbox for all those moments where you want to know a specific actor from some obscure movie. Simply type in the information you have, and IMDb gives you a huge list of results. When you drill down to actor and movie pages, you get an easy to browse layout with a filmography, actor bios, and much more. People who love movies or just like having a portable database to search for local movies, TV shows, and celebrities should definitely grab this app.

Labyrinth 2
Navigating past those cannons and obstacles is going to be tricky (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Labyrinth 2 ($4.99) is the sequel to one of the early games that showed off the accelerometer capabilities of the iPhone. But where the original was a straight-forward game where you tilt the phone to guide the metal ball to the goal, Labyrinth 2 adds several more maps, tons of features and obstacles, and breathes new life into an old game concept.

The first thing you'll notice about Labyrinth 2 is the enormous amount of playable map packs. Each map pack is rated so you can pick easy levels for more casual play, medium for a little more challenge, and hard levels when you're ready to dive in to a real challenge. What moves this iteration of the old game into modern times are new features to effect gameplay. Amidst the usual walls and holes you need to navigate around, there are now magnets and fans to knock you off track, cannons that shoot at your ball, and floor switches that open gates to get to the goal. Even if you manage to get past all the included map packs you can download free level packs to keep going. Overall, if you liked the original game for iPhone (and even if you didn't), Labyrinth 2 offers so much content and new concepts to the game that it's definitely worth checking out.

What's your favorite iPhone app? Are you happy to finally see the official IMDb on the iPhone? What do you think of Labyrinth 2? 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.