10 Most Awesome iPhone Apps of 2008

The hottest music app in the App Store, Ocarina thought beyond the iPhone's touchscreen and found a unique way to use the handset's microphone. Blowing into the mic simulates the experience of tooting into a flute; you play around with four virtual "holes" on the screen to change the note. Ocarina users around the world can even hear what you're playing in a globe mode. It takes a while to get a hang of it, but Ocarina gives away just how creative iPhone apps can get so long as developers have enough imagination. Download Ocarina ($1)

4. TapTapRevenge

You'd have to be living on a different planet (or a retirement home) if you haven't heard of Guitar Hero, the game that gets players to twitch their fingers compulsively along with the beat of their favorite songs. Developer Tapulous took the same idea to make an extremely addictive rhythm game called Tap Tap Revenge. Tapping blinking lights on a screen to catch tunes isn't exactly the same as rocking out on plastic guitars and drum pads, but it's still highly addictive. And Tap Tap Revenge is so popular it's even offering the option to download new tracks to tap to, similar to Guitar Hero and Rock Band's music stores. Download TapTapRevenge (Free)

3. Trism

Trism is such an addictive and appealing game that it blessed its developer Steve Demeter with $250,000 in profit in just two months. And deservedly so, because the game's really well designed and plays something like a Bejeweled with an accelerometer to move around the puzzle pieces. It wouldn't be fair to call it one game, either: There are three different modes to keep you hooked. Download Trism ($3)

2. Pandora

Whoa whoa whoa — free downloaded music on a portable device? You don't say. Pandora's alternative music distribution made this happen, and the app is cool as hell on the iPhone. Add a station for an artist you like, and the app will play that artist's music as well as similar tunes you might like. What better way to find new music with the wealth of new bands out there? Download Pandora (Free)

1. Google Earth

When Steve Jobs called the iPhone "Your life in your pocket," he probably didn't expect Google to deliver the world in your pocket. Well, virtually. Displaying satellite imagery around the world in a 3-D globe, Google Earth is one of the most intense, mindblowing apps that truly shows off the powers of the iPhone. If you want to impress your grandmother with a demonstration of just how far technology has come since she was a girl, this ought to do the trick. Download Google Earth (Free)

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