iPhone apps of the week

This week's iPhone apps serve two very different purposes. One helps you relax with calming sounds while the other gets you on your feet to mimic a golf swing.

iPhone apps

I was on the bus yesterday during my commute home and I decided to check out one of my latest iPhone apps to see if it worked as advertised. There was a loud-talking person yammering away on his cell phone (why must people do this?) and to get away from the racket, I stuck in my ear buds and launched WhiteNoise.

Simply touch the sound you want, adjust the volume, and relax. (Credit: CNET Networks)

WhiteNoise offers several neutral sounds that are perfect for blocking out annoying sounds and also can be quite relaxing. The interface offers eight buttons of soothing sounds you can start up immediately with a timer if you'd like to listen while you nod off to sleep. A small arrow in the lower-right corner of the screen lets you choose from 22 different sounds that you can move into your top eight for easy access. There are a few variations of rain and thunder storms, droning noises like fans and hair dryers, ticking grandfather clocks and wind chimes, and some sounds that offer ambiance like Amazon jungle sounds and deep city sounds. Almost all of the sounds are fairly good representations of what they're trying to emulate, and the rainstorm sounds are excellent. If you want to block the sounds of the outside world to help you concentrate or drown out those annoying bus passengers, this affordable iPhone App is a great choice ($0.99).

Choose your club, press the hit button, and perform your swing. (Credit: CNET Networks)

iGolf is another recent download for me. When I first saw this free game I was hoping for a real golf game in which I could play a course, but the actual game is pretty fun--if a bit limited. iGolf lets you use the iPhone's accelerometer to hit golf balls for distance like a portable driving range. Choose from three different clubs, get into your stance, touch the Hit button, and start your swing. It takes some getting used to with the timing of your swing (I heard the club hit the ball on my back swing more than a few times), but once you get the hang of it, you'll get some good hits. After the initial contact, you get to watch your ball travel past yardage markers like a driving range, and iGolf will save your best distances. I like iGolf, but it would be even better if you could actually play through a course using the same system (maybe we can all hope for an iGolf 2). Until then, it's fun knowing that I can bring a driving range anywhere on my iPhone.

Got a favorite new iPhone app? Let me know about your latest finds 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.