The Week In IPhone Apps: Navigation, Inebriation, Multiplication

Oh, I can keep going: financial news aggregation, slideshow presentation, carrier lamentation, lyrical collect-ation, and... and... tethering? Seven out of eight ain't bad. Anyway, enough of that—here's your weekly app dump:

Navigon Lite: Hark! Dedicated navigation units are dead, for the iPhone hath slain them! Except no, not at all, because navigation apps are still fresh, imperfect, and too expensive to "just try." Navigon's Lite version, then, is a great idea: it lets users test the app's routing power, mapset and interface for free. The catch—and it's a big one—is that GPS doesn't work. But even as is, it's marginally useful, and definitely worth your time if you're considering taking the plunge on the full version—whenever it comes out, that is. So you're not shocked when it does, the Euro app is $US140.

Absolut Drinkspiration : Drinking apps are almost invariably junkware, and advertisement apps are usually a waste of time. Absolut Drinkspiration is both of these things, and nonetheless manages to be pretty good. At its core it's a drink recipe and recommendation app; at this, it does fine, helped by the fact that Absolut is happy to accommodate non-vodka listings. (A true gentleman, this app!) If your drinking needs a little guidance, it can help with that too: it'll recommend drinks based on parameters like taste, time and mood. It's also got GPS built in so you can upload your mixes and see what others all over the world are drinking, and exactly where they're drinking it. Free.

TroubleSpots: TroubleSpots is part of an ambitious project, providing a tool to report when, where and how your cellular network has failed you. The reports, with embedded geodata, are passed on to AT&T, who will presumably see them and feel guilty, or something.

Two things: I think AT&T probably already knows where its network is thin; and I have a sneaking suspicion that using TroubleSpots inadvertently draws you into a secret guerilla annoyance campaign run by, say, T-Mobile, waged with iPhone apps and complaint forms. We'll never know! Anyhow, if having the ability to instantly file a complaint with your carrier will keep you from hurling your iPhone out the car window, this app is worth its (nonexistent) price of entry.

Pix Remix, Slideshow Builder : A pair of slideshow apps, both paid, which do very similar things. Both make Ken Burns-style moving picture shows, both can share presentations from phone-to-phone or though a web interface, and neither can export presentation into common slideshow formats, like PowerPoint or Keynote. The differences? Slideshow Builder pans more intelligently using facial recognition, while Pix Remix has many more presentation options. Another biggie: Slideshow Builder, though a dollar more expensive at $US4, has a near-full-featured free version.

Lyrics+ : There are a few annoyingly obvious, dead-simple apps that we just weren't allowed to have on account of the iPhone SDK's prior restriction on music library access. Thank god for OS 3.0. Two weeks ago, we finally got a music-library-enabled alarm clock; this week, a real-time lyrics fetcher. There are plenty of ways to incorporate lyrics into your audio file tags pre-transfer, but this one will do it over the air, while you listen. A buck for now, regularly $US2. (via TUAW)

Finalprice: Fun fact: With a little help from the App Store, anyone can function as an adult without any understanding of math, at all. This is thanks to apps like Finalprice, which calculates discounts and sales taxes to give you an actual, at-register totals for whatever you're considering buying. Or, you know, you could just figure this stuff out on the built-in calculator in a few seconds. Your innumeracy tax: one dollar.

CNN Money: A polished single-source news app with a solid video section, clean (but weblike) interface, and a real-time ticker, if you're into that kind of thing. Good if CNN Money is your thing, although I'll stick with multi-source aggregators like Fluent, or an RSS reader. Free.

MyWi: And finally, one for the jailbreakers. MyWi is an extremely slick tethering app that, instead of connecting to computers via Bluetooth or cable, sets up a zero-config wi-fi network, router-style. It even broadcasts an SSID (a network name) so you—and others—can easily tap into an iPhone's data connection. It's great, but $US10 is a bit steep for a jailbreak app—especially one that violates your contract, potentially landing you in trouble with your carrier.

This Week's App News on Giz:

The Cost of Buying Every iPhone App: $US144,326.06

iTwitter: The First iPhone Twitter App With Push, Sorta

TwittaRound Twitter Reality Augmentation Looks Amazing, Even If It Is a Horrible Idea

Push Gmail for the iPhone, Finally (It's Not What You Think)

Prowl Pushes Growl Notifications to Your iPhone

Nearest Tube iPhone App Adds Digital Directions to Your Surroundings

This list is in no way definitive. If you've spotted a great app that hit the store this week, give us a heads up or, better yet, your firsthand impressions in the comments. Have a good weekend everybody.

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