iPhone apps of the week

This week's collection includes an update to iGolf and some other free discoveries for your iPhone and iPod Touch.

iPhone Apps of the week

It appears that sometimes wishes really do come true. Last week I talked about iGolf, hoping that Version 2.0 would include some sort of course to play through. Apparently this was already in the works. With Version 2.0 you can now play through three holes in addition to hitting for distance at the driving range. It still needs some work (putting requires you to perform a full swing making it less-than-ideal), but adding the three playable holes is a nice touch. I should point out that if you don't have a good grip while playing you may throw your iPhone across the room. Comments for this app at the iTunes Store include the sad tale of an iPhone owner who let his daughter take a whack at a golf ball only to watch as his iPhone flew out his third-story window. So make sure you have a good grip!

Hold down the Bowl button and start your armswing. (Credit: CNET Networks)

Perhaps the better news, however, is while searching for iGolf to get the update I found SGN's other new free iPhone game, iBowl. Like iGolf, iBowl uses the iPhone's accelerometer to play the game. How it works is you hold the Bowl button and start your armswing motion, then release the button (but not your iPhone!) at the end of your swing to send the ball down the alley. You can also adjust which side of the lane you want to start your swing which makes picking up spares much easier. The game offers some nice audio for hitting the pins, but you get no sound for the ball rolling down the alley, and hitting a single pin has the same sound as hitting a strike. A two-player option would be a nice addition, with the ability to pass the iPhone back and forth with a friend, but overall iBowl still manages to be a great time waster.

Virtual Zippo Lighter
Try tilting your iPhone from side to side and watch the flame sway back and forth. (Credit: CNET Networks)

Another iPhone app that has been quickly moving to the top of the iTunes Store's most popular list is Moderati's Virtual Zippo Lighter. I happen to be a big fan of useless, funny apps, but this one, while adequate for a lighter simulator, could probably be better. You get to choose between several different Zippo lighter designs by finger scrolling before moving to the main lighter screen. Flip open the lighter using your finger or by physically flicking your wrist using the accelerometer. Flick the flint wheel to produce the flame. While lit, you can turn the iPhone and watch as the flame sways upward and turning it upside down causes your iPhone to vibrate. While it's a fairly good lighter simulator, the flame graphics are not as smooth as they could be, often lagging behind when you turn your iPhone. Still, with the well-known Zippo name attached to this app and the ability to choose different lighter styles, it's no wonder this simple, free iPhone App is rising up the most popular list.

What iPhone Apps do you like? If you have a favorite game or interesting app you use, let me know in the comments so I can check it 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.