The controls for the Talking Tom Cat app are simple. There are a few buttons at the periphery of the screen, and these will help you adjust the settings, but most of the time it is just you and the cat. This type of game lends itself well to a device with a touch screen and really stands out as on the iPhone. Unlike outdated digital pets of the past, you can really touch Tom to interact with him. You pet him the same way you would pet a real animal, and it’s one of the things that makes this app a delight.

Apart from all of these cyber-pet antics, Talking Tom Cat is also great for generating short video clips you can share with your friends through YouTube, Facebook, or e-mail. Since Tom will repeat whatever you say, it’s a great way to create fun birthday e-cards or personalized messages. While Talking Tom Cat is a free download, some of the features have to be unlocked through a $0.99, one time in-app upgrade. It’s not too much to ask.

The only real drawback to the app comes from its limited compatibility. The 3D animation will render slowly on a first generation iPhone, which is to be expected. However, the animations are a little sluggish on the iPhone 3G, compared to the iPhone 3GS. Any iPhone that runs iOS 4 instead of 3.xx will also be a little slow, but by no means unusable. Finally, iPod Touch owners should make sure they have headphones or earbuds that come with a built-in microphone, since the iTouch does not come equipped with a hardware microphone the way the iPhone does.