Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your uncle wouldn’t allow it. (Credit: CNET Networks)

I picked up the iPhone 3G yesterday. Maybe “picked up” is a little too light and airy for what happened — it’s more like I slogged through a 3-hour line along with several other iPhone fans with waning patience and sore feet, dying to get their hands on Apple’s latest device. However, it’s important to note that, despite the long wait time, once I got into the store it was an excellent experience. Each customer was escorted through the setup and signup process by their very own friendly Apple representative. Mine was named Alan. Alan was a really nice and knowledgeable guy. Once in the store it was 15 minutes (even though I had to switch carriers) before I was walking out the door — thanks Alan!

Regardless of the experience, the point of the adventure was to check out the new iPhone 3G. It’s my first iPhone so once I got back to the office, I went through and marveled at all the regular features. I checked out the mail program, the calendar, Safari, the camera, and the experience of Google Maps on a phone. Then I looked at the GPS (Hey, that’s me!) and a couple of YouTube videos before I ventured into Apple’s new App Store. I went directly to the free section–no need to buy Super Monkey Ball right away, right? I just wanted to check out the overall App Store experience.

After finger-scrolling through the list (can I say that?), I stumbled upon a download called PhoneSaber made by TheMacBox. It claimed to make the sounds of a Star Wars Lightsaber, and I like Star Wars as much as the next guy, so I downloaded it.

PhoneSaber shows a small lightsaber handle in the lower-center part of the screen with five different color choices on the left. As a regular law-abiding Jedi on the side of all that is good, I chose blue. Immediately I heard the familiar sound of a Star Wars Lightsaber coming to life. As I slowly moved the phone from side to side I heard the low electronic wooshing sounds I associated with watching epic battles between Luke and Darth Vader. I realized PhoneSaber was using the iPhone’s motion sensor to generate the appropriate sounds. When I started chopping at the air, the PhoneSaber made the sounds of lightsabers violently crossing paths in the ultimate sci-fi melee.

In my reverie I didn’t realize (but should have) that the entire cubicle section around me now had their eyes trained on the nerd waving his iPhone around in the air like Obi Wan. After a couple of moments of embarrassed silence, the other iPhone owner in the room said, “What’s that one called?”

“Oh that?” I answered quietly, “PhoneSaber.” I’m not totally sure, but I think within a couple of minutes I heard a lightsaber spring to life from across the room only to be quickly extinguished.

That was yesterday. Now as I walk through the office, I’ve heard more than a few PhoneSabers spring to life. Certainly the iPhone 3G has changed a lot about how we think of our mobile devices, but I guess I never thought we would discover the ultimate geek magnet — the nerd whistle of all App Store apps — the Phonesaber.

— Posted by Jason Parker