Group to-do lists and WWII dogfighting: iPhone apps of the week

This week's apps include a to-do list app with tasks you can share with your whole family, and a WWII airplane dogfighting game that's both fun and challenging.


With the iPhone 4 launch Thursday, those fortunate enough to have Apple's latest shiny new device probably want to see what it can do. Since not everyone reading has an iPhone 4 just yet, my featured apps are going to appeal to all iPhone users, but if you have the new device, I have a couple of apps you should check out immediately.

Apple's iMovie for iPhone ($4.99) helps you make fun videos using both the forward- and rear-facing cameras, letting you edit your footage, add themes and music, and more (get more info about iMovie here). After using the app Thursday, I'm thinking we're going to need to put out the call for creative reader videos, but that idea is still in the works. In any case, if you have the new iPhone 4, iMovie is definitely worth the 5 bucks. Sadly, owners of older iPhones will not be able to use iMovie.

The other app I tested is also an iPhone 4 exclusive. Eliminate: GunRange (99 cents) from popular iPhone game developers Ngmoco, takes advantage of the iPhone 4 gyroscope capabilities with a target-shooting game that lets you turn your body (with your iPhone 4) to aim your gun. It's the type of feature that needs to be seen to be understood, but rest assured, if you have an iPhone 4, this game is well worth the 99 cents.

This week's apps include a to-do list app with tasks you can share with your whole family, and a WWII airplane dogfighting game that's both fun and challenging.

The master list shows who is assigned each task, and which ones can be picked up by you. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

HoneyDo is one of many to-do list apps in the iTunes App Store, but with this one you can share your lists with your spouse, roommate, or the whole family. An excellent app for couples who want to share everyday tasks, Honeydo let's you create a task list and assign people to carry each task out, or you can leave the task unassigned so anyone in the group can claim it. HoneyDo offers push notifications so you know when to check for updates, and you can chat in real-time when there's confusion over specific instructions. The one drawback is that everyone involved will need to buy HoneyDo and register with the site (in the app) in order to share task lists, but if you want an easy way to manage regular responsibilities as a group, it's definitely worth the money.

The HoneyDo interface is well designed, letting you browse who is on the account, current task lists, tasks assigned to you, and what time and day tasks are due. For each task (like buying groceries, for example), you can assign subtasks that users can check off the list (for each item) as they go. The chat features, which are much like the iPhone regular text messages, let you clear up confusing tasks in real-time and without incurring SMS charges. Overall, with an easy-to-understand interface and the ability to share tasks with a group, this app will be useful for couples or families wanting to efficiently divide up the work in a household.

Skies of Glory
Onscreen instructions let you know what your next mission is, and helpful indicators (yellow arrow) show you where the enemies are. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Skies of Glory (free initially) is made by the same developer as popular jet fighter game F.A.S.T., but challenges you to play as a WWII fighting ace and blow other planes out of the sky. This game has been around for a while, but is definitely worth picking up if you haven't tried it before. The tilt controls are responsive even on 3G, and the graphics are very smooth as you guide your plane through the air and train your machine guns on enemy targets. In this free version, you can play through the first campaign mission, play dogfight missions to test your skills, or play online against other players.

Skies of Glory offers an excellent game mechanic with smooth controls, but like F.A.S.T. (and many other new games in the App Store), if you want to progress through missions or get new planes to fly you'll need to purchase content from within the app. Many planes cost 99 cents, and some of the other more-unique planes can be $1.99. Mission packs are available within a similar price range. If you're willing to spend a little extra on planes and missions, Skies of Glory is a great dogfighting game, but it's easy to see how your in-app purchases could add up quickly. Those who like airplane dogfights and want to try their luck against other players online should definitely get this free game. Just watch out for how much you can spend in the in-app store.

What's your favorite iPhone app? Are you a proud (or not so proud) owner of the new iPhone 4? Does a shared-task app like HoneyDo work well for your family? What do you think of Skies of Glory? 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.