iPhone apps of the week

This weeks offerings include a great way to read eBooks and an excellent guide for local TV and movie listings on your iPhone or iPod Touch.


Before I unveil this week's iPhone apps, I wanted to see if anyone else had the same iPhone problem I have. I keep having this issue with iPhone app updates that won't finish downloading and demand that I connect to iTunes to finish the update. But even when connected to iTunes, not all of the apps update and I'm left with that number on my home screen saying I need to update when I've done everything I can to complete the process. I also get some update notices dated before I downloaded the app, which clearly doesn't make any sense. I've looked at a number of sites that don't specifically list my problem--even our trusty iPhone Atlas site, which is one of the best places to look for common iPhone problems (and fixes). If any of you have experienced this issue and have a fix (or if I'm missing something), please let me know in the comments!

Fortunately, my update problems haven't prevented me from downloading new iPhone apps. This week I've got a couple new free apps that are definitely worth checking out.

Search for title on your iPhone or check out online catalogs for new things to read. (Credit: CNET Networks)

Stanza lets you read eBooks on your iPhone and it has a lot of great features making it better than you might expect. My first thought was it would be difficult to read on my iPhone, but Stanza offers excellent text size, screen color, and font options to make reading comfortable for anyone. You can import eBooks you already own on your computer and Stanza offers several online catalogs so you can download eBooks directly on your iPhone. The only area Stanza is lacking is when there are images in your book--Stanza strips out images and custom formatting. Aside from this easy-to-overlook problem, Stanza is a great way to read any eBooks you might already own and also discover new ones through its many included online resources. One of my favorite features is that it automatically remembers where I left off so I can get back to reading a story the next time I open Stanza.

Get detailed listings with user reviews and plot summaries for both TV shows and movies. (Credit: CNET Networks)

i.TV is my second iPhone app this week, and it has already shot to the top of the most popular list for good reason. i.TV is your television and movie guide for whatever area you're in. Either let your GPS determine your location (great for when you're out of town) or type in your ZIP code to get all the movie and TV listings in your current area. You'll be able to browse through times to see what's on television and you can browse by current movies or by theater to find a movie you want to see. You also can view almost 6,000 TV and movie previews. i.TV offers user reviews of TV shows and movies, but there aren't many up there as this app is still fairly new. At the iTunes Store, they say upcoming versions will allow you to watch actual TV shows, but even in its current state, i.TV is an incredibly useful app.

What are your favorite iPhone apps? Do you have the same problem with iPhone app updates? 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.