As if there weren’t enough distractions already: on your home computer — Facebook, Twitter; at the water cooler — “How was your date last night? Who’s the new intern?” There's so, so much you can do on your handheld device to waste time. As procrastinating happens to be a personal weakness, I've put together a list of some of my very favorite ways to fall down the endless rabbit hole and play on my phone.
Popcorn Maker (99 cents)
Popcorn Maker is one of those apps that you have no idea what the point is, but at 99 cents you can't resist. Watch and listen as kernels virtually pop into popcorn, adjust the heat from low to high, and then "pour" into your mouth by turning your phone upside down and to the side where there is a little opening (the same spot where the kernels come out). Swoosh the kernels around by manually moving your phone, and be careful not to let them burn by popping too long! Warning: It's impossible not to make popcorn immediately after playing with this app, so plan for a Netflix night next time you play.
Marblenauts is a classic video game in that it has cute, miniature characters (in this case little marbles with eyeballs), and the challenges increase with each level. Before you're able to reach game two, you have to complete all 30 rounds of game one. But all 30 are fun. Even if you're not a video game expert, these games are easy to understand and enjoy — almost too easy. In game one, the game maps out options for you to choose, including the winning path.
Bejeweled 2 + Blitz ($2.99)
I just became so entrenched with needing to complete level one that I forgot I was even writing about this game. For a minute I felt like, "Geez, how long have I been wasting my time today playing video games?" It is clear that Bejeweled 2 has an entrancing effect on anyone it touches. The kind where one minute it’s 10 at night and the evening is your oyster, and the next it's midnight and you're ready for bed, but you still haven’t made lunch for tomorrow, completed your online billing, or checked anything else off your to-do list. Move the jewels around to get three in a row. Figure the necessary steps out on your own, ask for a hint, or receive one automatically if you take too long to make a move. Plus the wonder that is Blitz — bejeweled with coins. Participate in weekly tournaments on Facebook (next-level time waster).
Bejeweled 2 Cheats (99 cents)
Even worse than wasting your day playing a video game on your iPhone is squandering your time learning how to cheat at that game. "Even in Action mode, pay close attention to the board so you don't miss any opportunities for a Power Gem or Hyper Cube." Decipher secret codes and their effects, and read the mysteries of the unlockables. Like passing down recipes through generations, the Bejeweled 2 Cheats app gives you the top-secret ingredients you can't find anywhere else.
Cupcake Me! (99 cents)
My love for cupcakes exceeds my love for many other things, so an app where you answer a couple questions and find out what kind of cupcake you are is my idea of a dream come true. Enter the Cupcake Me! iPhone app. After answering the first set of questions, I was a rose cupcake; after the second, an entirely different set, a glitter me cupcake! Then hot chocolate, next, I need coffee . . . the list kept going, as did the questions, which were all of a kitschy, silly and super-girly variety. Also, share your cupcake via email or Facebook, and save it to use as wallpaper.
My memory of SpinArt from Fun Day in elementary school is that you squirt blobs of color, spin it on a little rotating machine, and the final product comes when the spinning ends. With this app, you choose a canvas shape, use a paintbrush and color swatches to splatter, and then you spin your drawing. But the whirling motion has no effect on the picture you just made, which is just fine because this app is pretty entertaining as is. Lose yourself in a whirlwind of rainbow colors, shapes and spiraling.