20 best iPhone and iPad apps this week

The IPhone 5

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 pregnancy tracking, vintage newspaper clippings, motorcycle racing, Family Guy, wind-up knights and Embarrassing Bodies.

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.

Want more apps? Browse previous Best iPhone and iPad apps roundups on The Guardian. And if you're looking for Android apps instead, browse the archives of the weekly Best Android Apps roundups.


Economist Radio, In Other Words (Free + IAP)

Brand new from The Economist’s London desk, this app hosts a 25-minute weekday radio show covering news, politics, culture and technology. Offline listening is included – aimed squarely at commuters – with a monthly £2.49 subscription paid via in-app purchase.
iPhone / iPad

HarperCollins BookSpace (Free)

Plenty of startups are exploring new ways of providing book (including e-book) recommendations, but now publisher HarperCollins is at it too. This promises weekly suggestions for new books to read across 15 genres. You can earn reward points from rating and reviewing books, spending the points on new literature.
iPhone / iPad

Breeze (Free)

Breeze is the work of fitness-tracking startup RunKeeper, although it’s only available for the iPhone 5s at the time of writing. Whereas the company’s main app tracks runs, rows and other workouts, Breeze is for the rest of the day: a step-tracker with location features and lots of pretty graphs that’s a direct rival for the popular Moves.

Helpouts (Free)

Google’s Helpouts service has been out on Android for a while, but is now available for iPhone too. It’s a service for finding experts in various categories – from computing and cookery to fitness and photography – and booking live video sessions to get their tips. It’s easy to use with a decent spread of topics.

Drivetunes (£0.69)

An interesting idea for Spotify-subscribing motorists, this: an iPhone app that aims to play “delicious tunes that will match your driving style”. How? By matching them to your current driving speed, with a choice of more than 100 genres to ensure it sticks within your taste limits.

David Lloyd Playlist (Free + subscription)

More music here, this time from major label Universal Music Group and fitness-clubs chain David Lloyd. The theme here is music for workouts – 10 playlists updated every week with music from Universal artists, downloadable to your device for offline listening. After a 28-day trial, you’ll have to pay £5.99 a month to continue (although David Lloyd members get a quid off).

H2Only by RNLI (Free)

This is an app for charitable purposes, designed to help people raise money for British lifeboat charity the RNLI. The theory: you promise to drink only water for two weeks, with friends donating to egg you on. The app aims to help you drum up support and share your progress on social networks.

Pinnacle Studio for iPhone (£2.99)

Apple’s iMovie isn’t the only video-editing game in town on iOS: Corel has just released its Pinnacle Studio app for iPhone too. Although straightforward to use, it’s pretty powerful too, with a range of professional-looking effects and titles. You can share to YouTube or Facebook, or export to Pinnacle’s iPad and desktop software for further works.

Run the World (Free)

This app provides an inventive spin on fitness-tracking: it gets you to set a total goal for running that’s equivalent to a real-world feat: “running from San Francisco to Los Angeles” being one suggested example. Whenever you run, your distance will be taken off your overall goal. Maps, music playback and social features are also included.

Handy: Touch Free Recipe Player (Free)

YouTube has become a big source of inspiration and instruction for amateur cooks, and now megabrand Unilever wants in on the action. Handy is a way to control YouTube cookery videos by waving your hand in front of your device to play, pause and rewind – thus ensuring you don’t cover it in flour, chocolate or whatever other touchscreen-unfriendly ingredients are smeared over your fingers.
iPhone / iPad

The Final Hours of Titanfall (£1.49)

Journalist Geoff Keighley has released a series of “Final Hours” apps offering a behind-the-scenes take on the development of big console games – Portal 2, Mass Effect 3 and Tomb Raider, for example. His latest tracks the creation of Xbox One hit Titanfall, covering four years of development rather than just the final hours. It’s fascinating if you’re a fan.

Vid! The Video App with Friends (Free)

“Introducing SOCIAL LOOPING VIDEOS,” chirps the App Store listing for Vid, as if Vine had never been invented. In fairness, though, the “social” features here go beyond simply commenting – six-second Vid clips can be passed on for friends to edit and add their own bits. It can also import Vine videos, which could help it attract users.



Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Free + IAP)

Blizzard Entertainment’s card-battling spin-off from World of Warcraft has crossed from desktop to iPad, and may have just found its perfect medium. Like Magic: The Gathering it involves building a deck of characters and spells, then battling other people. As a relative dunce in this genre, I’ve found Hearthstone more accessible than Magic, it’s very fun, and if you’re a veteran, you can link the different versions to maintain your account across devices.

Hitman Go (£2.99 + IAP)

Console franchise Hitman has come to iOS, but not in the form you might assume. Hitman Go takes Square Enix’s action game and turns it into a grid-based puzzler – although assassination remains your goal. Its “scale-model style” graphics work very well, and the puzzles are well-crafted.
iPhone / iPad

PlayStation Vita Pets: Puppy Parlour (Free)

On one level, iOS devices compete with Sony’s PlayStation Vita handheld. However, the company clearly thinks they can be used to market Vita games, as with this new cut-down version of the upcoming PlayStation Vita Pets. It sees you running a dog-grooming parlour, with four mini-games and the chance to unlock costumes for the Vita version. A fun taster.
iPhone / iPad

Yomi (£6.99 + IAP)

More cards, here, in a game that’s been popular online for several years. It aims to take the aesthetics of beat ‘em ups (specifically, Street Fighter beat ‘em ups) and ally them with card-battling gameplay. It looks engrossing, with plenty of scope for different fighting strategies. The in-app purchase unlocks 10 “expansion” characters.

FarmVille 2: Country Escape (Free + IAP)

Social games firm Zynga has had a tough time over the past couple of years, but it’s putting a lot of oomph behind its mobile revival of the game that made its name on Facebook. FarmVille 2 takes the formula on considerably with its mix of harvesting, crafting and trading, although its farming simulation is never too complex for newcomers to get into.
iPhone / iPad

Oceanhorn Benchmark Edition (Free + IAP)

In its original incarnation, Oceanhorn was a neatly-designed attempt at making a Legend of Zelda-style game for iOS. Now it’s back in a “Benchmark” edition, whose main aim appears to be tempting new players to give it a go – the first chapter is free before an in-app purchase unlocks the rest. Its puzzles, monsters and lush soundtrack make it well worth a go.
iPhone / iPad

Viz Showtime - The Real Pub Fruit Machine (Free + IAP)

A gameshow-themed fruit machine starring Roger Mellie: the Man on the Telly? It’s fair to say this one is for fans of British magazine Viz, who’ll appreciate its in-jokes. A range of mini-games gives it variety, although how popular a fruit machine that charges for credits – some are free every day – while never paying out remains to be seen.
iPhone / iPad

Unpossible (£1.49)

Unpossible may give you a headache – in the best way. It’s a frantic obstacle-racing game where objects come flying at you constantly, at top speed. Your job is to avoid them using easy tilt or touch controls, with daily levels designed to keep you coming back. It’s very good indeed.
iPhone / iPad


FTL: Faster Than Light (£6.99)

This column is usually ruthlessly focused on apps and games from the last seven days, to avoid a backlog. On recent editions, though, commenters have been lobbying for the merits of space-strategy game FTL, so this week I gave it a try, and swiftly went down the same gameplay rabbit-hole that its fans have. It’s a deeply addictive yet deeply challenging game of resource management. Super-hard in places, but worth persisting with.

That’s this week’s 20 apps – well, 21 – but what have you been enjoying on your iOS devices? Or do you have some feedback on the apps and games featured here? Make your views known in the comments section.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 22nd April 2014 10.57 Europe/London

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