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.

myBatteryLife for iPhone

This app, which shows how much battery life you have remaining, is a simple tool of somewhat debatable utility.

iBookshelf for iPhone

This relatively modest database app for keeping track of your books has a few annoyances. But if a simple, easy-to-use library app is what you seek, iBookshelf isn't a bad way to go.

MyPhone+ for Facebook

This souped-up iPhone dialer app synchronizes with your Facebook account, pulling in photos and other information from the social networking service and linking them with your Contacts. MyPhone+'s easy synchronization with Facebook makes it a highly useful utility for the social networker on the go.

Word War for iPhone

This game lets you flex your command of English as you and an opponent build words, letter-by-letter, until you can't build anymore. And who knows -- the game just might have some educational value too.

More iPhone cocktail apps

In our latest round-up of cocktail recipe apps, Mixologist errs on the side of quantity over quality, while Drinks and Cocktails provides a more reasonable selection (albeit one with a few visual quirks). But Top Shelf Drinks -- a welcome update to the app formerly known as Drinks -- should win a prize for the most refined cocktail application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Mobile News and Video for iPhone

This app from Consumer Reports features news that may interest consumers. But the videos only preview the publication's paid content. And there's no support for subscribers of the magazine.

iPhone audiobook apps

iLibrary +audio and Audiobooks have clear bottom-line advantages and trade-offs. The former app lets you read books as well as listen to them, while the latter offers a huge selection.

Say It & Mail It for iPhone

The productivity tool for recording and then immediately sending voice memos has its strong points, such as simple controls and excellent use of the location features in the iPhone and iPod touch. But it's also a memory hog and prone to the occasional crash.

Wattpad adopts open e-book standard

Wattpad, an online site for publishing, sharing, and reading e-books, plans to support the EPUB standard, which should translate to more content for Wattpad users.

Documents 2 for iPhone

Business applications for the iPhone and iPod touch are becoming more sophisticated now, spurring competition among developers. Savy Soda's Documents 2 is another suite of applications designed to give users the power. But the all-in-one offering is rather somewhat less than the sum of its parts.

iMEvil for iPhone

Exquisite production values and exceptional voice talent make iMEvil more than just another dopey novelty app. Mobile for iPhone

This handsome news app for the iPhone and iPod touch does a fine job with presenting the news. Unfortunately, the photo essays that are a major focus of the app don't come off well on a mobile device.

Contact Spy for iPhone

This app promises to look up data about your contacts via Web searches. But in our tests, Contact Spy was too hit-and-miss to provide consistently useful intelligence.

Economic news apps for iPhone

The App Store offers many choices for business news and economics aficionados. In our look at four such apps, Economy and Business News both stand out -- the former for offering easily digestible chunks of essential economic data and the latter for its superb interface.

Political news apps for iPhone

There is no shortage of newsreader apps for the iPhone or iPod touch, and so it should come as no surprise that enterprising developers have begun to diversify and specialize. Three political news apps in particular vie for your attention, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.