Beginning last Friday, it's been an exciting time for the iPhone community and for all of us here at TiPB as we've witnessed and participated in the launch of the much-anticipated iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0, the App Store, and MobileMe. Although things didn't go 100% according to plan for Apple, and even though there are numerous bugs to fix and ghosts in the machine to exorcize, there is quite a bit of "new" to be excited about!

With the release of iPhone 2.0 and the App Store, there are now tons of apps to choose from, with more being added each day. Our readers are getting in on the app action and excitement with the opportunity to earn TiPB Store discounts by reviewing apps via our iPhone App Lightning Reviews promotion.

I am now proud to announce the beginning of the iPhone App Avalanche, a brief overview of iPhone apps from the iTunes App Store that will be brought to you here at TiPB. Stop by often for frequent App Avalanche app overviews over the next couple of weeks, then settle in for a weekly overview. With the introductions out of the way, let's jump into iPhone App Avalanche 1!

Much like Tribbles, the App Store is filling up with apps and more are being added every day. You may feel a bit like Captain Kirk trying to pick his favorite Tribble -- so many apps from which to choose! Hopefully the App Avalanche can help you narrow your focus.

New Apps

This is a no-brainer for App Avalanche 1 -- ALL of the apps are new! Stop by next time and you will see apps appear in this section as "newer" replaces "new".

What's Hot

AIM, from AOL, allows you to stay in touch with your buddies from your iPhone. Just download and sign on using your AOL, AIM, .mac or MobileME name. AIM takes advantage of 3G, EDGE, or WiFi for you to communicate. It's a FREE app that doesn't take up much space on your iPhone. Get AIM right here!

WeatherBug, from AWS Convergence Technologies, Inc., is a nice free alternative to the iPhone's built-in weather app. WeatherBug can provide the weather for thousands of locations, including severe weather alerts, detailed forecast, current radar, satellite maps, and even weather cameras. Install it on your iPhone for FREE right here.

Cro-Mag Rally, by Pangea Software, Inc., brings the thrills of neanderthal racing to your iPhone! The iPhone's accelerometer creates a unique handheld gaming environment which Cro-Mag Rally fully exploits. There are numerous tracks, power-ups and different cars to drive in this 3D racing game. Download it to your iPhone for $9.99 right here.

OmniFocus by The Omni Group may help you forget that Apple didn't include a basic task / to-do app on the iPhone. Winner of the 2008 Apple Design Award for Best iPhone Productivity Application, OmniFocus is all about giving you a powerful task management app on your iPhone. Using location, it can even help you construct lists of to-do's that are near your location. Get it here for $19.99.

Top Paid Apps

Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D by Vivendi Games Mobile should thrill Crash Bandicoot fans and new fans alike. It's a 3D racing game controlled by twisting and turning your iPhone. There are 12 different tracks, different environments, and 8 different weapons to use against your opponents. Install it on your iPhone for $9.99 here.

Enigmo, by Pangea Software, Inc., was voted "Best iPhone Game" at Apple's WWDC '08. It is a 3D puzzle game in which you direct water, oil, and lava to the right destination. You are provided different tools to direct the flow of these liquid to help you solve the puzzles. Get it here for $9.99.

Tetris, from Electronic Arts, stays true to the beloved classic with some extras to spice things up. Play it like you've never played it before with the iPhone's unique ability to tap and slide the blocks into place with your fingertips. Available for download for $9.99 here.

iBeer, from Hottrix, goes to show that there's nothing more refreshing than an ice-cold frosty mug of simulated beer on your iPhone. This app simulates the characteristics of a real mug of beer -- shake it to make it foam, tilt it to sip, and pour it from one iPhone to another. Now YOU can be the life of the party whether your brought a keg or not! Get it for only $2.99 here.

Top Free Apps

Tap Tap Revenge, by Gogo Apps, Inc. and Tabulous, Inc., is a rhythmic musical timing-and-dexterity tester. Either tap the screen or shake your iPhone from side to side as the arrows and glowing points drop to the beat of the music. Exclusive tracks are also available for download. Install it to your iPhone for FREE from here.

Remote, directly from the folks at Apple Inc., gives you control of the music on your computer or Apple TV. You can even see your songs, playlists, and album art, all right there on your iPhone. Never have to leave the couch again! Well, ok. Maybe to eat. And for sanitary purposes. Get it here for FREE!

Facebook, from the folks by the same name, help you continue your drug-like addiction to social networking by porting their ever-popular Facebook app to your iPhone. Upload photos, see photos of your friends, start chats, and more features are coming. Get it for FREE right here.

Aurora Feint The Beginning, by Danielle Cassley/Youweb LLC, is an interesting combination of puzzle game and fantasy/role playing with the potential of increasing your character's abilities and strengths. As promised by the developers, this app is merely an introduction to an iPhone MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online game). Sounds promising! Get it for FREE right here.

That's it for the very first iPhone App Avalanche. You can now say you were "there when it all began." Hopefully the "it" will keep you coming back for more! In the meantime, check out these apps and share your thoughts in the Comments -- also, write your own review for the iPhone App Lighting Reviews!