iPhone apps of the week

This weeks apps include a better, more comprehensive free weather app and a sequel to one of the first and most popular games at the iTunes Store.


Before I get to this weeks apps, I found out about some bargain basement prices for a small selection of apps from Ambrosia Software. Aki Mahjong Mobile, Mondo Solitaire, and Mr. Sudoko are all on sale for 99-cents at the app store until November 30th (usually $9.99). If you have any interest in these games, now is the time to start downloading!

For this weeks apps, I'm including one free and one paid app.

The Weather Channel
Choose the 36-hour option to get detailed forecasts for your location (Credit: CNET Networks)

The Weather Channel for iPhone and iPod touch offers a wealth of weather information beyond what you get from the free app that's already on your iPhone. In addition to local temperatures, you can check out hourly, 36-hour, and 10-day forecasts, conditions for specific landmarks in a neighborhood, and you can share weather information with anyone in your iPhone address book. You can also view current weather videos (launches in YouTube) and look at local severe weather alerts. My favorite feature is the ability to view weather maps and pick layers to show where it's raining or whether its cloudy, or what the temperature is in specific locations. If you want more weather info, download this free app.

Aurora Feint II: The Arena
Check the top of the screen to see how many of each block type you have (Credit: CNET Networks)

Aurora Feint II: The Arena ($7.99) is the sequel to one of the first games out for the iPhone, Aurora Feint: The Beginning. Like its predecessor, most of the action in the game requires that you move and match three or more blocks together to get points. Stringing together matches increases your combo multiplier so a certain amount of strategy is required to get the most points. While you match blocks, you collect minerals and crystals which can be used to buy items that make your mining easier.

What sets this new version apart from other puzzle and blocks games is the asynchronous massive multiplayer component, The Arena. In the Arena you can play against other players ghosts or create your own ghost so players can challenge your best effort. You also can chat with other players in The Tavern and brag about past winnings, though the game automatically gives you the option to brag or complain at the end of a match. With solid gameplay, RPG elements that let you upgrade, and online multiplayer, Aurora Feint II: The arena has plenty of replay value. At first I thought $7.99 might be too much for an upgrade to the free game, but once I got to playing and challenging other players I realized it was definitely worth it.

What's your latest greatest iPhone App? Are you happy to see a more comprehensive weather app for iPhone? What's your screen name in Aurora Feint so I can destroy your high score? 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.