Health and fitness tracker and an arcade shooter: iPhone apps of the week

This week's apps include a program to help you get in shape, and a simple retro arcade game that's perfect for killing time.


As we gear up for the WWDC here in San Francisco, the rumors are flying as usual about what we might see during the keynote on Monday morning. Some people say Apple will announce new iPhones, others say we will get a precise release date for Mac OS X Snow Leopard. One thing is likely: We will probably all have the ability to download iPhone OS 3.0 sometime next week. I'm crossing my fingers.

I'll be at the keynote speech to witness the excitement and find out as much as I can about Mac OS X Snow Leopard. But as an iPhone owner, I also plan on walking the show floor and attending various launch events to see what's in store for iPhone applications. Check back here at CNET on Monday afternoon and the rest of the week for news, videos, and slideshows of all the new stuff from WWDC.

This week's apps include a program to help you get in shape, and a simple retro arcade game that's perfect for killing time.

Choose which part of your body you want to develop to see exercises and photos (Credit: CNET)

iFitness ($1.99) offers an easy-to-navigate interface to help you be more productive during your workouts. Icons across the bottom of iFitness are organized into categories including exercise listings, My Workouts, Routines, Logs, and Extras. The exercise listings are organized by which area of your body you want to work on and offer photos of each exercise so you know exactly what to do. If you want to build up a certain part of your body or have a specific goal in mind (weight loss or strength building, for example) the Routines section offers several groups of exercises you can perform to focus on your goals. The log section allows you to record your workouts so you can track which types of exercises you do on different days making it possible to plan a complete workout regimen.

What makes this app particularly useful are the actual photographs and step-by-step descriptions for each exercise. In addition to widening the scope of your workouts, the pictures and descriptions of exercises make it possible to try new workout methods safely. Once you've found a weekly routine you like (however many times you go per week) you can save your routine in the My Routines section so it's easy to get started immediately when you get to the gym. iFitness also offers some extras including a calculator for Body Mass Index (BMI) and a weight monitor to track how much you lose.

Like old arcade games, the longer you stay alive the harder it gets (Credit: CNET)

PewPew (Free) is a challenging 2D retro arcade shooter with only one goal: get the highest score possible. There are two game types, including Dodge This, which challenges you to collect as many boxes as you can while more enemies populate the screen; and Assault, which is a standard shooter that gets more difficult as you play. According to the developer, more game types are on the way, but as a free download, it's hard to complain when the games offered are already a lot of fun.

The controls are onscreen virtual joysticks like those found in more and more iPhone games. Though the game is not as deep as other games in the genre, the two game types provide plenty of action for a free pick-up-and-play experience. When you're done playing a game, you can watch a replay in 3D even though actual gameplay is not in 3D. Overall, if you liked those difficult arcade games of the 80s, this simple retro shooter is right up your alley, with more game modes and online high scores (according to the developer) to come in later updates.

What's your favorite iPhone app? Do you have a fitness app that's better than iFitness? What's your 2D arcade game of choice? Let me know in the comments so I can check them out!

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.