Normally we’re not too fussed about reporting on free games or updates or updates to free games. That said, the iPhone’s fourth most popular free game, iBowl, has just received an update that's worth telling you about.

The new features include the option to bowl against up to four over-the-network players, either in turn or in ‘real time’. This mode allows each participant to play his own game without waiting for the others to finish their turns, then tallies up the scores afterwards. The first multi-synchronous iPhone app, apparently.

“Since the launch of iBowl in October, we are proud to announce that iBowl remains in the top ten free downloaded games in the Apple App Store and has experienced 72 per cent growth since December 2008,” says Shervin Pishevar, CEO of SGN.

The update comes as SGN nears the eight million mark for downloads of its various applications across the App Store and social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook.

“We have established our position as a leader in social gaming and with the new iBowl update, we continue to engage people through the power of the network effect, across multiple platforms and social networks with new features designed to entertain all audiences,” Pishevar concludes.

Social networking and online gaming seems to be growing at a massive rate, as you can see from Pocket Gamer.Biz’s interview with online casino developer Zynga and the appearance of Facebook MMORPG iMob Online (AKA Mob Wars) on the iPhone.