This Week's Best iPhone Apps

In this week's tragically undersupported app roundup: Unicorns, summoned! Human beings, shot to death! Fancy cars, fancily raced! Food quantities, measured relatively! Everything, copied and pasted! Keyboards, questionably revolutionised! And more...

Younicorn: Excusing the terrible portmanteau of a name, this app is wonderful: for adults, as a silly joke; for children who may actually believe in unicorns, as earnest dream fulfilment. Everyone is happy. Also: unihorned. $1.19.

Ratio: Cue Dan, resident culinaire/food terrorist:

Michael Ruhlman, cookbook author demigod and Gizmodo Food Week contributor, is bringing his excellent book Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking to the App Store. Ratio takes sometimes-threatening elements of cooking like doughs, cakes, sauces, sausages, stocks and batters and breaks them down into more versatile ratios (bread is five parts flour to three parts water, for example). The app looks really great, actually: It has all 32 of the "critical ratios" in cooking, plus a calculator (to figure out exactly how much of everything you need), recipe ideas for each ratio, and ways to both store and share recipes (via Facebook and Twitter).

Six bucks.

Pastebot: You know how Microsoft Office's clipboard lets you keep track of everything you've copied and pasted on your PC? This is like that, for the iPhone. Except flashier, and with wireless syncing. $2.49.

Battleship: This board game is such a good fit for the iPhone that it's amazing it took this long to show up in the App Store. Anyway, now it has, and it's quite good. The basic gameplay is pretty much exactly how you'd imagine it, but the extra gameplay modes - Salvo (multishot) and Superweapons (more than just torpedoes) - and the solid multiplayer implementations - Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and pass-off - are what make it worth the price. $4.

Type n Walk. Says Adam:

Texting while walking is dangerous, as you can't see what's in front of you. The Type n Walk iPhone app, as predicted on April 1, solves that by using the camera to make the phone transparent. Sigh.

But it saves lives, man! $1.19.

Gunman: Not the first augmented reality gun app, and not the cheapest. But I will give it credit for being the first to actually work like a game: once players have connected over Wi-Fi and entered their opponent's shirt colour, Gunman analyses shots from the iPhone's camera - taken when the "fire" button is pressed and decides whether or not you've killed your adversary. It's like a real-life FPS. Or at least it would be if the whole process wasn't excruciatingly slow. A million points for concept, and about, oh, three for execution. $4.

Need for Speed: Shift: There are plenty of tilt'n'race iPhone racing games, but this is easily the most impressive to date. The graphics rank among the best I've seen on the iPhone, and all the familiar gameplay elements of the NFS franchise are here. The wide camera angle and automatic accelerating/tap-to-brake control scheme can make racing feel a bit like you're falling through the track, but it's not unpleasant or irritating - just a little odd. All that said, $13 feels a bit steep.

TikiNotes: Less a notes app than a platform for one of those wacky alternative keyboards, TikiNotes definitely comes with a learning curve. If you buy into their claims, the keyboard should make one-handed typing much easier, but I honestly didn't have the patience to prove them right (or wrong). That's up to you, QWERTY malcontents: The app is free, so what do you have to lose?

Honourable Mentions

Raytheon: This is a company that's actively developing iPhone apps for military field use; that they're making a Flight Control-esque iPhone game for us civvies is compelling, for sure. Alas, this app does not exist yet.

The Santa Game: Because it's Christmas, y'all! Almost! And also because navigating a disembodied Santa head out of these mazes is pretty fun.

Lou Zoom: Lou Reed - yes, that Lou Reed - made an iPhone app for people with vision problems who have trouble seeing their contact list, or for people who really enjoy massive typography.

This Week's iPhone News On Giz

Surprisingly, iPhone Takes Over the Weird Japanese Smartphone Market

Inappropriate App Store Icons, Right Here

FSJ's Anti-AT&T Manifesto Makes Me Raise My Fist in Solidarity

AT&T Has Spent Less on Network Construction Every Quarter Since the iPhone's Launch

Swedes Camping Outside Apple HQ Asking Steve Jobs to Approve Their App

The iPhone as a Friend and Foe Tracking War Machine

Control Your Mac With an iPhone, the Patent

AT&T Dismisses Operation Chokehold as an "Irresponsible and Pointless Scheme"

The StickyStrap Is the Weirdest iPhone Holder/Case/Stand I've Ever Seen

Microsoft: Maybe We Should've Paid More Attention to That iPhone Thingamabob

This list is in no way definitive. If you've spotted a great app that hit the store this week, give us your firsthand impressions in the comments. And for even more apps, see our previous weekly roundups here, and check out our Favourite iPhone Apps Directory.

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