Cook with the pros and play ball as one: iPhone apps of the week

This week, get cooking with the chefs from the Food Network and play a fun arcade baseball game.


The big Apple iPhone news this week involved a new app approved in the iTunes App Store called Skyfire Web Browser (link will open iTunes). This new Web browser's claim to fame is that it can display Flash content by using an interesting workaround. The browser sends Flash content to its own server, converts it to HTML5, then streams the content back to your iPhone. Jessica Dolcourt wrote about Skyfire's shaky launch here.

Apparently, within 5 hours, Skyfire's servers were overloaded (imagine that!) as people swarmed to a new way to view Flash on the iPhone. To be honest, I haven't run into many problems with not having Flash, but I definitely hope that Apple and Adobe or someone can come to an agreement so any smartphone user can get ALL the Web content available.

As of right now, Skyfire is still available at the iTunes App Store, but I have to wonder how it could not know there would be an onslaught of traffic and prepare accordingly. It also makes me wonder if it's really worth the trouble.

What do you think? Are you content waiting for developers to convert everything to HTML5 (if that's even possible)? Should Apple just throw caution to the wind and make it so Flash works (and open the platform to those alleged dangers)? Let me know in the comments!

This week, get cooking with chefs from the Food Network and play a fun arcade baseball game.

In The Kitchen
Once you find a recipe, use the top buttons to see a list of ingredients and how to cook the dish. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

In The Kitchen ($1.99) gives you a recipe database made up of delicious recipes from all your favorite chefs from the Food Network. The interface offers a number of ways to find a good recipe, either by using a search tool or by touching the image of a chef from the Food Network.

Browse through thousands of recipes from popular chefs including Bobby Flay, Alton Brown, Paula Deen, Giada De Laurentiis, and Rachael Ray, and get reviews for recipes from other users. Once you decide on a dish to make, you can have In The Kitchen create a shopping list for you so you can check off ingredients as you walk around the store. The shopping list is particularly helpful because you can add just the items you need or all the items from multiple dishes. Even if you don't want to make a particular recipe today, you can store favorites in a Recipe Box so you can get back to them later.

Along with tons of recipes from your favorite Food Network chefs, handy tools for shopping, and a Recipe Box for your favorites, In The Kitchen offers timers so you don't even need to set a separate one. With all these features and the addition of special seasonal recipe collections, anyone who wants to add to his or her cooking repertoire should definitely download this app.

Baseball Superstars 2011
You'll need to use your all stars (pitchers mound) to get out of difficult game time situations. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Baseball Superstars 2011 ($4.99) lets you play a cartoony, but surprisingly deep version of America's favorite pastime on your iPhone. You can choose from 10 teams initially with varying skills (some have better batting, whereas others might offer faster runners, for example) and play a standard baseball game. The graphics are more cartoonlike than realistic, and you won't be able to choose your favorite team (Baseball Superstars is not licensed by MLB), but you'll quickly forget your team is "The Dolphins" once you start playing in an exhibition game, home run hitting derby, or even a 45-game season.

Baseball Superstars 2011 offers plenty of depth and replay value by allowing you to customize a batter or a pitcher with items you can buy in-game. You also have special pitches and a super-hitting button with special players you can unlock as you play. Though you don't have full control like you would in a console baseball game, Baseball Superstars 2011 manages to use the iPhone touch screen very well. Fielding the ball is done automatically, but you have full control over the type of pitches you throw and ball placement.

Even though Baseball Superstars 2011 is not a realistic-looking baseball game, and doesn't come with our favorite players and teams from the pros, this title will still appeal to baseball fans offering some RPG elements and plenty of extras to keep the game interesting. My only question is, why did they release this game after the World Series was over (go Giants!)?

What's your favorite iPhone app? Are you excited that you finally have the recipes from Food Network favorites on your iPhone? What do you think of the arcadelike but surprisingly deep gameplay in Baseball Superstars 2011? 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.