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.

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.


American Interior (£2.99)

American Interior is the new album from Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys, but it’s also a book, a film and an app. It tells the story of adventurer John Evans’ quest to find a fabled Welsh-speaking tribe of native Americans. The app uses a mixture of text, video and music split into 100 “messages”. It’s a marvellous tale, and the app is a great way into the book, film and album.
iPhone / iPad

Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace (£4.99)

Buzz is beginning to build around Disney’s plans for rebooting Star Wars, with the cast for the next film announced earlier this month. Star Wars Journeys offers a new spin on an older Star Wars tale, aimed more at younger fans who want to read the story and play its built-in racing game.
iPhone / iPad

Secret - Speak Freely (Free)

Secret is all the rage in Silicon Valley as a way for people to moan anonymously about the technology companies they work for. Hopefully its UK release will widen the subject material a bit: the theory is you can share anything “freely” with your friends, who won’t know it’s you (unless you give an obvious clue). Secrets can then spread to friends-of-friends, and the wider community.

Google Docs (Free)

There’s already a Google Drive app for iOS, but now Google is splitting it out again into separate apps for its individual functions. Google Docs is the word processing app, and while it’s getting some stinking early reviews from people angry at being forced to install separate apps, it looks like a decent document-editing app in its own right.
iPhone / iPad

Google Sheets (Free)

Google Sheets is the other standalone Google Drive app launched by Google this month: a spreadsheet-editing app that looks as neat and accessible as Google Docs. It too is being reviewed harshly: the reason being people feel they’ve been pushed to download by Google removing editing features from the main Google Drive app.
iPhone / iPad

Spies of Mississippi: The Appumentary (Free)

Spies of Mississippi has been a troubling book, then a documentary film, about state infiltration of civil rights organisations in Mississippi over four decades. Now it’s an app too: a mixture of videos, timelines, maps and discussion points for students, teachers and general readers/viewers to talk about the subjects covered.

Slingshot (Free + IAP)

Slingshot is interesting: a screen-sharing app that can host sessions from any iOS device, including using Apple’s own AirPlay technology to broadcast them to other Apple devices. However, it also works with Android devices and computers: notes, file-sharing and video chat are all included too.
iPhone / iPad

Grow (£1.49)

Photo-sharing apps are ten-a-penny on the app stores, but Grow is an interesting spin on the formula: it’s for taking photos of things that grow over time (from children to flowers) then turning those photos into videos. It also shows you the last photo you took each time, to help you compose the shot. Simple, elegant and a fun idea.

Euan's Guide (Free)

Many disabled people and their friends and families will know about Euan’s Guide already: it’s a website aggregating reviews of public venues around the UK for their accessibility. The app offers its content for iPhone, including identifying places nearby that have been reviewed. It also works with iOS’ accessibility options, including voiceover.

You&Me - Messaging for Couples (Free)

Messaging for couples? Isn’t that what texting is for? But You&Me – launched by dating service How About We – is a mixture of photo-sharing, chat and video messaging that organises everything you’ve sent to one another for cooing over when together (or, alternatively, weeping over with a bottle of gin once you’ve split up).

Edge Stamina by Tracey Cox (Free)

Talking of things couples might weep over: premature ejaculation. This app from TV sex expert Cox “trains men how to last longer in bed” by learning the skill of “peaking” while “climaxing solo”. So, yes, it’s essentially a masturbation stopwatch for iPhone – complete with a two-week training plan.

Dinosaur Roar! (£1.99)

Dinosaur Roar! was one of my favourite books to read to my sons when they were young. Now it’s been turned into an iOS app with the original text and illustrations, plus the option to record and save your own voice narration, a dinosaur-colouring section and a mini-game. A good complement to the book.
iPhone / iPad


Pixel Press Floors (Free + IAP)

Pixel Press Floors isn’t the first app to let you create your own games by drawing them on paper, but it’s the most fully realised. It helps you draw levels for platform games using symbols (“glyphs”) for common elements: ladders, moving blocks, coins and so on. There are two themes to start with, plus more on the way, and everything can be shared with the community. It’ll be really interesting to see what people come up with.

Dwarven Den (Free + IAP)

“Mining puzzle” is a new game genre to me, but in this case it’s very fun indeed. Backflip Studios’ new game sees you digging through underground ruins solving puzzles, rescuing your dwarven ancestors, and blowing things up along the way. Gems and gold – earned and/or bought – help you upgrade your tools as you go.
iPhone / iPad

Doodle Jump SpongeBob SquarePants (£2.49 + IAP)

The original Doodle Jump was one of the first big indie hits on iOS: a famously moreish game that saw you jumping up vertically-scrolling levels by tilting your device left and right, then tapping to shoot. Now it’s back with a SpongeBob SquarePants theme: characters from the show and a mix of power-ups and daily challenges to keep it interesting.
iPhone / iPad

NinJump Smash (Free + IAP)

More from Backflip Studios here: a follow-up to its very popular NinJump game on iOS. Here, you’re trying to get a ninja who’s a little on the tubby side back in shape by, er, charging through wooden walls. The gameplay is simply tapping at the right moment to smash each wall: a bit like Flappy Bird, but without quite as punishing a difficulty level.
iPhone / iPad

Blast Zone! (Free + IAP)

If you’ve ever played and loved a Bomberman game, you may be interested in Blast Zone – although it may be aimed as much at people who’ve never played Hudson Soft’s originals. It sees you running around a series of levels dropping bombs to blow up rivals while picking up power-ups to… well, usually blow them up too. In-app purchases fuel the action.
iPhone / iPad

World War II: TCG (Free + IAP)

There are plenty of fantasy-themed card-battler games on iOS – the excellent Hearthstone being just the latest – but not quite as many with a military theme. This sees you building a deck of virtual cards based on the second world war: tanks, planes and infantry, with more than 200 cards to collect, and plenty of scope for strategic deck-building and play.
iPhone / iPad

Metal Slug Defense (Free + IAP)

Classic game franchise Metal Slug made its name with side-scrolling action romps. Now, as it shifts to free-to-play, it’s trying a new genre on for size: tower defence. You choose from more than 60 units – unlocked over time rather than all available at the start – with online multiplayer to test your skills against players around the world. Could actually be more interesting than the standard Metal Slug conversions for iOS.
iPhone / iPad

Bezircle (£1.99)

This has lots of potential for local multiplayer games: a colourful orb-capturing action game that up to four people can play on a single device thanks to its one-button controls. There are 50 solo levels to practise on your own, and plenty of replayability thanks to its open-ended design.
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 Tuesday 6th May 2014 11.28 Europe/London

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


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