Let's take our minds off all this nasty Google Voice business for a minute, and focus on the apps that we do have. Google may not make an appearance this week, but how about Wikipedia? NPR? The Discovery Channel? Simplify?
NPR News: The unaffiliated Public Radio Player was great great great, but this is somehow better. It brings twice as many stations, adds written news content along with offline reading, on-demand NPR shows and a surprisingly navigable interface. Guiltily free, since you don't even have to sit through pledge drives.
Wikipedia: I just assumed this app already existed, but Wikipedia somehow didn't have an app until this week. Weird! It's sort of a website-wrapped-in-an-app snooze for now, though it's open source and Wikipedia would very much like you to help make it into something decent, that people might actually want. Free, and quite.
Fluent News (Update): A personal favorite news aggregator of mine, Fluent now supports Google News-style searches across sources and emailing from within the app. The search feature is more useful than it might sound, especially if you want to dig right into a news story right after hearing about it. Free.
WHOA: You know Telephone, the group game where you pass a complicated, whispered message around a circle of people until it turns into something about penises, usually? This is that, with writing and drawing, on the iPhone. Here's what you do: You write a word, the next person draws it, the next person writes what he thinks the drawing is, and so on. A dollar.
Aha: Crowd-sourced traffic, with a big-buttoned, simple interface intent on not causing you crash into other people. It'll let you see how traffic is on your preferred driving routes based on input from its users, who can literally yell at their iPhones to record short voice messages about how bad (or awesome, I guess) the roads are. It's only available in a few cities for the time being, but the concept is promising, as are the early reviews.
Discovery Channel: Better than your average dedicated station or publication app, though it follows the same concept: This is video, audio, photo and text content from the Discovery Channel, home of Mythbusters and LOTS OF SHARKS, in a nice little packaged news-style app. No full show episodes—gotta buy those in iTunes—but lots of decent clips and plenty of meat for DC nerds, if there is such a thing.
Simplify Photo: Simplify's other app lets you listen to your home music library from anywhere with a sort of zero-setup server app, and it's absolutely indispensable. This one does the same thing for photos, letting you access your entire home photo library wherever you are, without taking up much space on your iPhone's dinky drive. The experience is surprisingly seamless considering how much it depends on the iPhone's data connection, and the app is only a dollar.
This Week's App News On Giz
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. And for even more apps: see our previous weekly roundups here, and check out our Favorite iPhone Apps Directory and our original iPhone App Review Marathon. Have a swell weekend everybody.