This Week's Best iPhone Apps

In this week's peacemaking app roundup: Music, gleaned! Court adjourned! Lives, documented! Libraries, kept! Cities, terrorised! Scavenger hunts, organised! Stains, vaporised! And, well, Prince of freakin' Persia.

Snowtape Radio: Old school internet radio isn't dead, not quite! And while it's around, you may as well get the most out of it. Snowtape is a brilliantly well-designed little internet radio app, with one killer feature: song recording. At the very least, it's a nice change of pace from apps like Pandora and $2.49.

SCVNGR: Let's you create or follow scavenger hunts, basically anywhere, or just check around you to see if there are any challenges to be completed in your area. It's like Foursquare, kind of, except with a point. Well, "point" might be a little generous, really, but SCVNGR is more upfront about what it really is: a game.

Project 365: Project 365 encourages you to take a photo every day of the year, to keep a log of what you've been doing, what you've seen, and what you might not remember over the course of 365 days. Less an app than an enabler for a concept, (It's basically a large, explicitly timestamped gallery) but what the hell, it's a great concept.

Prince of Persia: Prince of Persia, just like you remember it! (Assuming you're over the age of 25.):

It costs $1.19 and plays just like the 1989 classic, with a 60-minute time limit. It can hook up to your Facebook account for pushing through annoying updates on your progress, though do try and refrain from doing so.

Chinatown Wars Lite: GTA: Chinatown Wars is a fantastic game, especially for the price (it launched at $US10, as compared to the $US40+ price on the Nintendo DS and PSP). Still though, $US10 is on the higher end of the app spectrum. Hence Chinatown Wars Lite, a free, relatively generous preview of the full game.

BookLover: I don't want my iPhone to replace my books. I want my iPhone to assist my books:

It's tough to keep track of books you want to read or random thoughts about them sometimes, but the BookLover iPhone app makes life just a bit simpler by letting you maintain a virtual bookshelf and saving notes with ease.

The app automatically retrieves book cover and synopsis information for books you add to your shelf and has room for categories, notes, reviews, bookmarks, and suggestions. If you want to show off your highly intellectual reading habits, you can also quickly share information on your Facebook Wall or via email.


MyPhoneDesktop: Kyle loves this app so much. Why? Let him explain:

Despite its unwieldy name and its unforgiving website, myPhoneDesktop is a pretty smooth operator. You just copy something to your clipboard on your computer-a phone number, a scrap of text, a URL, an image-and the desktop app will beam it over WiFi or 3G to your device of choice. It's a quick, smart way to dial a phone number you encounter on the net, zap a map from your browser to your iPhone as you go out the door, or push a website over to your iPad for further perusal. To be fair, it's not nearly as ambitious as the stuff Google was showing off-you can't, say, buy songs or apps and send them to your phone-but myPhoneDesktop is here now, and it works well.

Best of all, things go where they're supposed to. When I copied YouTube links, they opened in the native YouTube app; crazy-long Google maps links opened in the Maps app; and images were instantly saved in my iPad's photo album. Simply put, this is how computers and mobile devices should interact-seamlessly. Everything you send has to go through myPhoneDesktop's app, which means that the app has to open, log you in, and then process the image/link/whatever you just beamed to it, but it's only a hiccup compared to the ordeal of syncing a new iPad background image via iTunes, or even compared to the workaround of emailing yourself the image.

There's push, too! Lovely. $2.49.

Phoenix Wright: A port of the DSi game, which was in turn a port of a GBA game:

You play as a defence attorney who, along with a wide cast of characters, investigate and try cases. It's impressive that Capcom managed to figure out a game mechanism-the point-and-click adventure game, weirdly enough-that can make this concept remotely plausible, and even more impressive that the series, which has actually become somewhat sprawling as of late, is consistently funny.

SKTCH: A drawing app, except instead of brushes, it uses generative patterns. It's hard to explain, so I'll leave that to the video. Once you've created a drawing, you can export it to the desktop version of the app, available for OS X.

Clorox MyStain: A quick'n'dirty guide for removing all manner of stains. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the proposed solutions are somewhere along the lines of "USE CLOROX", but there's a lot of non-Clorox-based advice in there for remedying stains without proper cleaning solution. Free.

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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