This Week's Best iPhone Apps

In this week's loving iPhone app roundup: Credit cards, swiped! Space ships, twirled! Ninjas, hurled! Sleep deprivation, nipped! Syncing cables, snipped! And more...

Karate Chop: There's nothing like a faithful port of an indisputable classic:

Remember Karate Champ? It was one of the very first fighting games-coming far before Street Fighter and Tekken-and we loved it dearly. Now this arcade classic will be coming to the iPhone and it looks damn good.


Square: Remember that little dongle that turns the iPhone's headphone jack into a credit card swiper? Yeah, well now you can actually try it yourself. Free. (Get an account here.)

How Many?: The sheer quantity of apps in the App Store means a lot of things. It's means that there's a lot of great, powerful, complex tools! It means there's a lot of junk! It also means that there are apps for incredibly specific purposes, like this one, which tells you how much one thing weighs in terms of other things. And when I say thing(s), I mean anything: Bears? Cars? Pears? Sure, whatever. $1.19.

Jet Lag Fighter: Virgin Atlantic's assembled a detailed guide to avoiding jet lag , which advises you not just in how you should sleep, but when you should be exposed to light, and when you should exercise. $2.49.

The Impossible Game: I'm a sucker for single-tap gaming, and this is some of the best I've seen on the iPhone. It's not impossible, but it'll take you quite a while to get used to the pace and style. Lovely, clean graphics and addictive music make this game feel like a polished rhythm game, which it sort of is.

PewPew 2: An ultra-fast-paced top-down space shooter, rendered in wireframe 3D. You control the ship with one thumb, control firing with the other. The original PewPew was among the best in its category, and PewPew 2 has way more levels, different weapons and a couple of new game modes. $2.49.

Magic Mover: From the same people who turned your iPhone's speaker into a tiny little fan, an app that moves your iPhone using its vibration function. It seems to only push in one direction, which makes sense, and the effect is cute, if you're on a slick enough surface. This is the very essence of a gimmick app. $1.19.

Zombie Infection: OK, I'm getting a little uncomfortable with Gameloft. Consider Zombie Infection: It's a Resident Evil-style zombie game, with Resident Evil-styled heroes and enemies. Oh, and it's set in South America - sort of like Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles! If you're not familiar with this questionable phenomenon, Gameloft, which often makes officially licensed games like Brothers in Arms, Avatar or Driver, also makes games that are unofficially "inspired" by popular franchises. See: NOVA (Halo), Brain Challenge (Brain Age), Gangstar (GTA), Modern Combat (Modern Warfare) and Guitar Rock Tour (Guitar Hero).

Anyway, this is probably one of Gameloft's best games, a well-executed, graphically lush third-person shooter with better-than-awkward controls. It's just a shame it feels dirty to play it. $9.

Touch To Give: An app in the tradition of TheHungerSite, just tap on a button and a sponsor gives to a worthy charity. Free.

Wi-Fi Sync: I usually don't include jailbreak apps in our roundups, but the jailbreak process is extremely simple now, and this is easily my favourite app concept of, well, ever. It uses a client app on your computer to sync wirelessly with your iPhone, meaning that you can stop storing your iPhone next to your laptop, and just sync over Wi-Fi, like so many of us had expected to be possible by now. It's $US10 in Cydia.

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. Have a great weekend, everybody!

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