I've written about Flight Control before, but I can't emphasize enough how much I love this game. Your job is to be an air traffic controller and juggle airplanes as they fly in from all directions for a landing. Different planes flying at different speeds keep you on your toes and you'll have to deal with the occasional helicopter as well.
Get it right and you're the choreographer of a smooth ballet, with flights lining up behind each other. Get it wrong, however, and you'll wind up with a mess on your hands.
When you love to eat out, but hate calling for reservations, Open Table is a life saver. Like its Web site counterpart, just plug in your party size and desired time and you'll see a selection of available tables.
You get most the features of the Web site, including the ability to search by neighborhood and restaurant name and a list of those magical 1,000-point reservations. You can't search by cuisine type, but I don't mind that omission.
This is one of those apps that can be a lot of fun, provided you know what to expect. No, it won't offer all of the features of the high-end software, but it offers more than enough basic options for tweaking your shots. And with the improved camera quality of the iPhone 4, it's even better.
If you're like me and you're picky about your airline seat, Airline Seat Guide is a good substitute to Web sites like Seatguru.com. It displays full seating maps for aircraft from most major U.S. and foreign airlines with a color code--green is good, yellow is average, red is bad--for finding the best place for your behind. You'll see the leg room (aka pitch) and width of each seat class, and some entries even tell you which rows are missing a window (a particular pet peeve of mine).
Unfortunately, Airline Seat Guide doesn't tell you why a particular seat is bad; you just know that it is. Also, the type of information displayed isn't consistent. But even so, the range of covered aircraft is pretty extensive and I like that the data for the most popular aircraft and airlines is stored directly on the phone. For the less common entries, however, you'll need an Internet connection.
I'm a classic-drinks guy (hence the dirty martini), but I'm always willing to try something new (particularly if it includes gin). Pocket Cocktails allows you to explore uncharted drinking territory without the embarrassment of asking a bartender, "What's in that?" You'll find a photo, the recipe, a list of ingredients, and related trivia. And if you can'y decide what you want, shake your iPhone to select a random drink for you.
Alcoholic drinks are broken into six categories, with an additional mocktail category for your designated driver friends. There's also a handy "tips and tricks" area for learning how to do such things as peel a spiral citrus garnish. Wine drinkers can access a "Sommelier" feature for pairing wine with food.
TripCase acts as a diary for your various trips. You can store your flights, hotel name, and car reservation all in one convenient place. As your departure time nears, the app will display your airport gate and you'll receive push and e-mail notifications in case of a delay. I used TripCase last February when I went to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. I was very grateful to receive an alert that my outbound Lufthansa flight was delayed two and a half hours. As a result, I got some extra time at home instead of waiting at the airport.
If you enter your hotel, you'll see the address, check-in time, phone number and a general description of the facility. Other features include weather at your departure city and destination, the phone number for your airline, a list of alternate flights, and an option to notify friends of your status.
I'm not a huge gamer, but I once spent an entire flight to Seattle madly pecking away at Tower Bloxx Deluxe. The premise is simple: you play the role of a crane operator building skyscrapers by dropping blocks--each representing a floor--onto each other. It's best if you can drop them directly up to the point where you cap the tower with a decorative spire. On the other hand, if you drop the blocks slightly askew, the tower will sway to the brink of a possible collapse.
The skyscrapers get taller as you get better and in one version of the game you're limited as to where you can place the towers. It takes a bit of strategy and a steady hand, but it can be lots of fun.
If you're a frequent flier or a casual traveler looking for chow during a flight delay iFly Pro offers detailed maps for airports around the world. You can view terminal diagrams for the locations of businesses and airline gates, research parking and ground transportation options, get recreation ideas for long layovers, and find related traveler services. It even offers a general history of the airport (perfect for real aviation enthusiasts) and updates delay statuses. You won't find airline lounge locations, but hopefully that will come.
iFly's Pro also offers airline information, real-time departure/arrival, and flight tracking. There are better flight tracker apps available, but I like that iFly Pro bundles tracking information and airport maps into one title.
One reason I love flying United Airlines is that you can listen to the air traffic control frequency while you're on the ground and cruising through the sky. Though you can't use Live ATC Air Radio in the air (it requires an Internet connection) you can listen in while still in the airport. As such, you can hear when the inbound flight that's using your plane is on final approach and when your flight is ready for push back from the gate (if there's a delay, you'll hear about it here, before they announce it in the cabin). Just make sure you have it off before the door closes.
If you're meeting an arriving friend, you also can use the app when you're waiting in the cell phone lot for his or her flight to land. But wait, there's more...if you are parked at the end of the runway waiting for your first sight of the Qantas Airbus A380 landing at LAX, you'll know when to grab your camera. Yes, I know that's really geeky, but I'm not ashamed.
If you've ever wanted to rule your own empire, or you just really had a bad day, Pocket God lets you play god with a race of animated characters called "Pygmies."
The little guys are at your every whim. Tip the phone and they'll slide off the island, subject them to a variety of scary predators, like sharks and dinosaurs. And if you're feeling particularly vengeful, you can smite someone with a lightning bolt. It may sound silly--and in a way, it is--but Pocket God also includes simple games that have a point. For example, in one game, you'll have to run a Pygmy through a lava-filled cavern.