Always a microcosm of the greater world, the App Store this week focused on two things us Americans have been thinking about a lot recently-the upcoming election, and tossing back a few this Labor Day weekend. And with this week's apps, there's no reason for your iPhone to be left out. The political applications, sadly, tend to swing pretty far to the side of app absurdity:
Obama/McCain Inauguration Countdown: Tick down the days to January 20 for the candidate of your choice, complete with rotating quotations and photos. Also useful for reminding yourself that the one and a half years of inane campaign coverage on TV will soon be over. Sadly, they're a buck.
BAC Calc: Ahh, but here's some utility for the weekend. A blood-alcohol-level calculator to quantify exactly how hammered you've gotten while getting riled up by McCain and Obama quotes with your buddies. Just enter your consumption, alochol volume of your booze, your weight and your gender. But remember kids, the law won't care if your iPhone says you're under the limit once you find yourself in the drunk tank. Free
Beer Bounce: And once all your friends go home on Monday night, there's no sense in stopping the party when you've got Beer Bounce, the first virtual quarters game for the iPhone. As you progress through the rounds, difficulty is increased by adding blurriness and staggering to the game. Nice touch! $3
Blofeld: While it has nothing to do with anything, really, Bond fans will have to love the concept behind Blofeld. It places an image of a feline pelt on your phone, and purrs when you stroke it, evil genius style. I can't believe this costs a dollar, but again, hats off to the concept, especially the icon.
Earthscape: And just when you thought the App Store was only filled with meaningless pap, there's Earthscape, which brings a great-looking Google Earth-style satellite image browser to your phone. It's a little laggy at times, and the image quality isn't as high as GMaps, but a great way to kill a few minutes if you're stuck in line somewhere. $5 This week's app coverage on Giz:
- Tris, the free Tetris game, was pulled from the store (voluntarily) for copyright violations. Infinite sadness.
- Our Question of the Day found that a typical Giz reader has spent between $1 and $10 on apps, but with many bigger spenders also responding. Go vote if you haven't yet.
- A fairly harmless comic app Murderdrome was rejected from the store, and its creators want a rating system for apps to avoid censorship, which is a great idea.
- A quasi-hologram app looked awesome, but later turned out to be just a proof-of-concept simulation, although its creator wants to make it into reality.
- And the Android Market, Google's answer to the App Store, was officially announced and does not require an approval process to get listed.
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 what you missed last week and check our original iPhone App Review Marathon. Have a good long weekend everybody.