Ben BoychukMacworld

Ben Boychuk is associate editor of City Journal, a public-policy magazine, where he oversees the magazine's coverage of California. He's also a columnist for ScrippsHoward News Service and the Sacramento Bee. He lives in Southern California with his wife, two children, their cat, and an albino corn snake named Bart Karateman.

Review: iNewz for iPhone

iNewz is a rich source of mainstream media with wide-ranging and diverse content. But the iPhone and iPod touch app suffers from a pedestrian look and poor offline reading support.

Review: Shazam for iPhone

This music identification app can tell you the name of that catchy song by this week’s hot band. But Shazam stumbles when dealing with other genres and is error-prone in other ways to boot.

Review: Earth Envi for iPhone

Earth Envi gives you access to everything from classic NASA images from Apollo missions in the 1960s and ’70s, to satellite photos captured this week. It’s a pleasant enough diversion, but something is missing from this iPhone implementation.

Review: Cannon Challenge for iPhone

This slightly scaled-down version of a game available at the Discovery Channel’s Web site teaches you about physics as you operate a Non-Line-Of-Sight Cannon. You also get to blow stuff up.

Review: WiFinder for iPhone

WiFinder is very good at showing you all the networks in range of your device, open or not. But the app only connects to open networks—and performance can be more spotty there.

Review: USA Today for iPhone

As media outlets go, the print edition of USA Today will never really compete with a New York Times. But as far as iPhone apps are concerned, USA Today is a winner.

Review: Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader for iPhone

This mobile version of the popular game show quickly grows tiresome because of tedious pacing.

Review: Byline for iPhone

Subway commuters and frequent flyers will rejoice at Byline’s convenience in the absence of connectivity, as the newsreader app syncs with Google’s RSS reader and lets you read your favorite feeds offline.

Review: Vicinity for iPhone

The latest app to exploit the location features on your iPhone or iPod touch to find nearby services, amenities, and businesses, Vicinity’s utility is limited by a restricted range and shoddy sources.

Review: Take A Note for the iPhone

Take A Note’s ease of use and a gorgeous interface makes it a truly worthy note-taking app for the iPhone or iPod touch.

Review: BBCReader for iPhone

Because of flaws in the way stories are loaded and presented, the BBCReader for the iPhone and iPod touch offers a second-rate way to read news from a first-rate media outlet.

Review: A trio of iPhone GTD apps

With the latest book from Getting Things Done author David Allen hitting stores Tuesday, we look at three lower-cost apps that offer to boost your productivity the GTD way—CheckOff, GTD 2 Min Timer, and Habits.

Review: Television for iPhone

Television does serve a useful purpose as a reasonably well-organized clearinghouse for TV news. But it suffers from some limitations that show just how far developers have to go before getting video on the iPhone and iPod touch right.

Review: Freedom Run for iPhone

This goofy game is good-natured fun for kids and adults of all political stripes.

Review: Chess With Friends for iPhone

Using networking capabilities to challenge others to matches, Chess With Friends is the next best thing to wandering down to the park or local café and sitting down with a stranger for a game.