This Week's Best iPhone Apps

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In this week's triumphantly multitasking app round up: iMovies, edited; NPR music, listened to; farms, tended; DC Comics, virtually collected; the elements, miniaturized and beautified; the iPhone 4's gyroscope, put to use for some target practice, and more!

If you'd like to view this gallery as a single page, click here.

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NPR Music: With NPR apps, you know what you're going to get: great content wrapped in thoughtful design. The new NPR music app is no exception. The free app brings NPR-curated playlists, radio streams, shows and interviews to your iPhone, covering a wide swath of genres. Like NPR's other apps, there's an in-app playlist so you can work on a little queue of things while you're listening to another, and the app can play in the background on iOS4 devices. NPR Music has a wealth of great content, all for free—there's really no reason not to check it out.

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NCAA Football: EA's iPhone 4-optimized college football app is about as advanced as you could ever imagine football getting on your phone (that's a good thing). You can play a full season as one of 55 college teams, running surprisingly sophisticated plays to pump-up music from your own iTunes library. The iPhone 4 version is $8; a slightly less pretty version for older iDevices is $7.

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iMovie: It was the crown jewel app of Apple's WWDC keynote, and it brings a surprisingly capable, well-designed movie editor to your phone. Brian takes a step back:

I just shot and edited an HD movie on a smartphone in under 5 minutes. Perspective: my digital camera computer from 10 years ago couldn't have done this. And here, with titles, transitions, themes and soundtracks, for $5.

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Admittedly, cutting together videos isn't something I imagine I'll be doing on my phone on a regular basis, but strictly as a sign-of-the-times type thing, iMovie's a beautiful app.

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Eliminate: Gun Range: iPhone game powerhouse Ngmoco wasted no time in leveraging the iPhone 4's gyroscope for an interesting new experience, and simply by virtue of being first, their new app, Eliminate: Gun Range, is great fun. The game has you in a gun range (surprise!) but instead of tapping the screen to aim, you move your entire iPhone. Just like a real gun range is practice for wielding a firearm, consider Eliminate: Gun Range practice for wielding your iPhone's new gyroscope (it's not easy.) $1

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DC Comics: Not to be left behind by Marvel, DC has given iPhone and iPad users a portal to their comic universe with a new app. Frucci:

It's basically a storefront and reader for DC books built on Comixology's system, with weekly additions, charts and free offerings as well. Obviously, the art looks a lot better on the iPad's bigger screen, but you can presumably load the same comics up on both devices to continue reading when you're on the go.

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It's free! Until your nostalgia gets the best of you and you start buying up comics like a mad man, that is.

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Farmville: Farmville, that thing that other people do on the internet to waste time, has finally arrived on the iPhone. Just like the ultra-popular Facebook version, you can raise your livestock and tend your crops (that is what I'm supposed to be doing here, right?) For us techie types, the Farmville iPhone app might be more interesting as proof that big name Flash properties will actually go out of their way to make it into the Apple orchard after all.

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Bing: Bing just keeps getting Bingier, with a new update that rolls social networking integration into both the app's search results and its offerings for sharing those results with your friends. Searches now cull your Twitter and Facebook feeds in addition to the web, and a visual search for scanning products' bar codes and checking out information on them on your iPhone. Free

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Pandora: Being able to listen to Pandora while you do other stuff has been the iPhone multitasking rallying cry for just about as long as there has been a push for iPhone multitasking. Version 3.1.1. finally realizes this elusive dream, and man does it feel good. Free

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I Am T-Pain: Brian Barrett, big T-Pain fan and even bigger karaoke fan, says:

Maybe the best use of the front-facing camera I've seen yet comes from Smule's auto-tunetastic I Am T-Pain app. Because now, you can star in your own autotuned music video. It's pretty genius.
You can make your own track, upload it to your social network of choice, record over your iTunes library and, most importantly, be choose your own autotuned video adventure.

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Shawty! $2

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The Elements: If you want to show your friends just how powerful your iPhone 4's processor is and just how vibrant its screen looks, grab the new iPhone 4-only version of The Elements, the thing everyone used to show off their iPad's capabilities just a few short months ago. It's a bummer that it's not a universal app—you'll have to pay $10 for the iPhone version—but then, flipping through The Elements is just about as beautiful and as engaging as science gets.

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DISCUSSION

marcellus-wallace-old
Marcellus Wallace

The reviews for iMovie in the App Store are kinda...not so great (at least a lot I read). Anyone have any input on if it's really any good?