20 best iPhone and iPad apps this week


It's time for our weekly roundup of the best new iPhone and iPad apps and games to have emerged on Apple's App Store.

This week's selection includes the long-awaited iPad debut of Microsoft's Office suite, the just-as-anticipated third game from Clash of Clans developer Supercell, and a mix of comics, recipes, utilities and monsters. Something for everyone, hopefully.

As ever, prices are correct at the time of writing, but may have changed by the time you read this. (Free + IAP) means in-app purchases are used within the app. And if you're looking for Android apps instead, browse the archives of the weekly Best Android Apps roundups.


Microsoft Office for iPad (Free + IAP)

Yes, I'm cheating this week, for this is four apps rather than just one. You can read the full story about Microsoft finally bringing its Office suite to iPad separately, but suffice to say Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote are all available as free downloads on the App Store, although an Office 365 subscription is required – it can be bought in-app for £79.99 if necessary.

Incredible Numbers by Professor Ian Stewart (£2.99)

This is the latest marvellous book-app from publisher Touch Press, in this case working with author Stewart on an interactive guide to, well, numbers. From Pi and Infinity through to the patterns in prime numbers. Maths was my Achilles heel at school, so the fact that I've found this app fascinating should tell you something about its interactive demonstrations' mainstream appeal.

Me Comics (Free + IAP)

Aimed at children, this is a collection of digital comics including Transformers, My Little Pony, The Beano and several Disney brands. Parents buy individual issues or bundles via in-app purchases, then children read them and record their own dialogue and sound effects.
iPhone / iPad

Photowall for Chromecast (Free)

Released by Google just in time for the launch of its Chromecast dongle in the UK, this is described as an "experiment". The idea: you install the app, take a photo, then sling it to your Chromecast-equipped TV. Friends do likewise, then the resulting "photowall" is turned into a YouTube video. Why? It's an experiment...
iPhone / iPad

Readly (Free + Subscription)

Available in Sweden for a while, Readly has now crossed the North Sea to the UK. It's essentially a Netflix or Spotify-style service for digital magazines: you pay a £9.99 monthly subscription for unlimited access to 114 mags. IPC, Haymarket, DC Thomson and Time Out are among the partner publishers at launch.
iPhone / iPad

Sesame – Recipe Manager (£2.99)

The latest app that could become invaluable to cooks. You use it to find and save recipes from various websites, but importantly you're able to tweak them if you find you prefer different ingredients or serving styles. You can tag recipes however you like to make them easy to find, and timers are built in for use while actually cooking.
iPhone / iPad

MailTracker (Free + IAP)

This is an interesting email accessory, although it does raise some privacy issues. The idea: it uses tracking pixel tech inserted into the emails you send from your iPhone to let you know when recipients open your emails, and how long they read them for. It works with Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook/Hotmail accounts, via your iPhone's default Mail app.

DatPiff (Free)

DatPiff styles itself as "the internet authority in mixtapes", making its official app something definitely worth checking out for keen hip-hop fans in particular. It provides simple, quick access to the site's collection of mixtapes, streaming them to your iPhone and iPad.
iPhone / iPad

Miximal (£1.49)

Miximal is great fun: an app for children based on those books where the pages are split into three rows, enabling people, animals etc to be mixed and matched. Here, the focus is on animals: flipping between penguins, gorillas, elephants and more to create hybrid beasts, then tapping to hear the syllables of their names read out.
iPhone / iPad

Dubbledecker (£0.69)

There has been a wave of apps capitalising on open data available on the London transport network. This is the latest for buses, showing live arrival times for nearby stops, as well as showing full routes. Most importantly, it's fast and simple to use, leaving you more precious seconds to run for the 218.

VideoMix (Free + IAP)

It looks like the flow of new photo and video-sharing apps will never stop, despite the fact that 98% will never be popular. VideoMix may have a shot at joining the 2% though: it's a slick way to share photos as collages in a variety of designs, while also adding videos and iTunes music clips into the mix.
iPhone / iPad

Mopp Cleaning (Free)

Mopp is very much a utility for Brits – well, those Brits with a messy house in search of someone else to clean it up, anyway. You tap in your postcode and details of when you need someone to come round, pay (£10 an hour) by taking a photo of your bank card, and then await your appointment. The bank-card photo aspect slightly worries me, but if you're more relaxed with the idea, this looks very useful.

Endless Numbers (Free + IAP)

Another hugely-characterful children's app, this – a follow-up to 2013's excellent Endless Alphabet and Endless Reader apps. This features the same troop of colourful monsters, with animated numbers introducing children to simple sums. Numbers 1-5 come for free, with a single £2.49 in-app purchase by parents unlocking 6-25.
iPhone / iPad


Boom Beach (Free + IAP)

Supercell made a killing with its first two games, Clash of Clans and Hay Day. Now it has launched an eagerly-anticipated third. Boom Beach is quite similar to Clash of Clans with its base-defending (and attacking) tactical gameplay, but the theme is modern military rather than fantasy. You build up your army, devise offensive and defensive tactics, and take on fellow players around the world. It's immediately accessible, but clearly with lots of scope for strategy.
iPhone / iPad

Game of Thrones Ascent (Free + IAP)

Talking of fantasy... This is an official game based on the TV series Game of Thrones, which has picked up 2.5m players in its Facebook incarnation. Now it's on the iPad too, with bags of quests set within the Westeros world. More army-building lies in store, as well as crafting and fighting. A neat touch: updates will match new episodes of the show as they air.

Star Wars: Assault Team (Free + IAP)

It's a week for big entertainment brands on iOS. This is a turn-based strategy game based on the classic Star Wars films, as you develop a team of heroes and fight against... well, pretty much everyone you remember seeing in Star Wars. Player-vs-Player online battles are a big part of the game too.
iPhone / iPad

Word Monsters (Free + IAP)

This is the latest game released through Angry Birds maker Rovio's publishing arm, Rovio Stars. It's a fun and accessible word game that involves swiping words off the screen, competing against friends from social networks. The monster aspect may appeal to younger players, although parents should know that the in-app purchases of coins and cookies go up to £34.99 at a time.
iPhone / iPad

oO (£1.49)

Good luck finding this on the App Store with a search – the link above is your friend in that respect. This is a "minimalist indie dodge-em-up / runner arcade game" with simple, stark visuals and gameplay that involves moving a ball around the edges of interconnected circles. Has the potential to be a real time-killer.
iPhone / iPad

DJMAX Technika Q (Free + IAP)

The DJMax games are new to me, but they appear to have a healthy following from their arcade and console versions. This new mobile outing is an entertaining music rhythm game, with social rankings and more than 50 songs to tap along to.
iPhone / iPad

Barcode Kingdom (£0.69 + IAP)

I'm not entirely sure how much long-term appeal Barcode Kingdom has, but I remain surprised that more mobile game developers haven't tried inventive things with barcode-scanning. Here, you build an army to fight battles by scanning barcodes in the real world, and seeing what units they create. Heady days for anyone who remembers Barcode Battler in the early 1990s, but hopefully the idea will find its way into more games in the future.
iPhone / iPad

Those are our picks, but what have you been enjoying on iOS this week? Post your recommendations (or feedback on these) in the comments section.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Monday 31st March 2014 13.27 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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