20 best new iPhone and iPad apps and games this week

The Guardian // 09th August 2015

Powered by article titled “20 best new iPhone and iPad apps and games this week” was written by Stuart Dredge, for on Friday 7th August 2015 09.26 UTC

Welcome to this week’s roundup of the latest, greatest new iPhone and iPad apps and games. All prices are correct at the time of writing, with “IAP” indicating use of in-app purchases.

You can read the previous Best iPhone and iPad Apps roundups for more recommendations, but if Android is your platform of choice, check the Best Android Apps roundups. On with this week’s selection.


Ruby by Glow (Free)
Glow started life as a startup (and app) for women wanting to track their periods and fertility, before spawning Glow Nurture for pregnancy-tracking. Now there’s Ruby, which focuses more on sexual health – so not just for women who are trying to conceive, in other words. Its release comes ahead of Apple finally adding these kinds of features to its own Health app.

A Game of Thrones: Get into the Books (Free)
The Game of Thrones TV show is finally overtaking the books, leading to a smugness-reversal in terms of people’s ability to deliver plot spoilers. This, from HarperCollins, isn’t smug though: it’s an app aimed at TV fans who want to explore the books now, with extracts and introductions, plus “anti-spoiler” settings to avoid any nasty surprises.
iPhone / iPad

MyHeart Counts (Free)
This isn’t new, but it’s new to the UK, marking the expansion of Apple’s ResearchKit initiative for people to share their medical data with academic researchers. As the name makes clear, this is all about your heart: an app to track your physical activity and test your fitness levels – then share that with Stanford University researchers.

National Theatre Backstage (Free + IAP)
If you’re a theatregoer in the UK, you’ll want to check out this official app from the National Theatre, offering digital programmes for its plays, but also updates on current productions, including rehearsal shots and videos and interviews with the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch and Danny Boyle.

Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Jungle (£0.79)
This is the third time children’s publisher Nosy Crow has explored the idea of a digital flip-book: here using the marvellous illustrations of Axel Scheffler for an array of weird and wonderful animal hybrids, with poems accompanying them. Kids will love it – and parents will appreciate the way it encourages them to read, not just flip.
iPhone / iPad

Numerous (Free)
Numerous is a good idea, promising a fast way to check “the most important numbers on your life” in one place. Which can be personal stuff from Fitbit activity and Twitter followers to stock prices, through to work stats drawn from services like Salesforce and Google Analytics.
iPhone / iPad

Yahoo Livetext – Video Messenger (Free)
Apparently Livetext is “the most natural way to have REAL conversations”, which suggests someone in Yahoo’s marketing department needs to get out and speak to people in the REAL world a bit more. But this is interesting: a neatly-designed video messaging app with text-chat built in.

FLIO – The global airport app (Free)
If you spend a lot of time kicking your heels in airports wondering whether you can get online, FLIO could be a useful tool. Initially focused on European airports, it helps you find free Wi-Fi, offers discount on food and shopping, and will point you to everything from power sockets to children’s amusements in each airport.

Bestie by Camera360 (Free)
Few slogans are as 2015 as “Best Selfie Every Time!”. If the quality of your selfies is worrying you, Bestie is worth a look: it may sound silly but there are serious features from respected photography app Camera360 here to touch up your self-shots. And filters, obviously. Always filters.

Gousto (Free)
This may be today’s peak Guardian moment, but Gousto is a good idea: an app that shows you new recipes every week, then lets you order the ingredients and have them delivered (within the UK) so you can make them. Expect 10 recipes a week, with the option to rate dishes if you are (or aren’t) impressed.

Prune for iOS.
Prune for iOS.


Prune (£2.99)
No clashing clans or matching candies here: just a beautiful, relaxing game that sees you growing your own plant with careful swipes on the touchscreen, while blissing out to the background music. The antidote to any mobile game that’s ever stressed you out with frustrating difficulty-ramps or needy notifications.
iPhone / iPad

Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon (£3.99)
Back in the day, Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor was a critically-acclaimed iOS hit. Now its sequel is here, and it’s just as worthy of praise. You play a spider, again, trapping insects in an abandoned mansion, solving puzzles and getting to the bottom of the secret society that built your abode. Beautifully-done, and hopefully a big hit.
iPhone / iPad

Five Nights at Freddys 4 (£2.29)
The Five Nights at Freddy’s games have been making scaredy-cat gamers jump for a while now. This latest game is creepier than ever, moving the demonic-animatronic-animals action to the home of the child hero, with you having to fend them off overnight. Excellent, as ever.
iPhone / iPad

Angry Birds 2 (Free + IAP)
As our full review explained, some of Angry Birds 2’s freemium features will grate on players who enjoyed the original games, but are unlikely to put off the Candy Crush crowd. The bird-slinging pig-exploding action looks better than ever, with some neat gameplay touches. Hopefully some of the wait-timer aspects will be tweaked in the coming weeks.
iPhone / iPad

Roald Dahl’s Twit or Miss (Free)
For everyone who grew up with Roald Dahl stories (which is essentially everyone, certainly here in the UK) this will bring back fond memories of two of his foulest creations. The game sees you flinging food morsels back at Mr Twit to ensure Mrs Twit doesn’t wake up, with some well-tuned scoring making it a fun challenge for parents as well as kids.
iPhone / iPad

Paradise Bay (Free + IAP)
Paradise Bay is the latest game from Candy Crush publisher King, and it marks the company’s move beyond puzzle games to… well, basically to a FarmVille-esque resource management game, albeit set on an island rather than a farm. Grow crops, manage animals and cultivate your mini-world. The production values are very good, and while some gamers will balk at the freemium features, many more won’t mind at all.
iPhone / iPad

Adventure Time Puzzle Quest (Free + IAP)
Once upon a time – pre-freemium boom – Puzzle Quest was the only blend of match-three puzzling and RPGs that you needed. Is it still a hit in 2015 though? This is pretty fun, blending Puzzle Quest with the (ace) kids’ show Adventure Time. The odd bug aside, it’ll please fans of either brand.
iPhone / iPad

Operation Dracula (£4.49)
This will bring pangs of nostalgia for anyone who grew up in the Amiga era of computer games: an old-school shoot ‘em up with bold, 16-bit graphics and bullets by the dozen. But this doesn’t require rose-tinted specs to enjoy: in 2015, it feels fresh and challenging. Plus, who could fault a game that makes “wailing Japanese guitar solos” one of its App Store selling points?
iPhone / iPad

Cosmonautica (£4.99)
This space-strategy game has been billed as a blend of Elite and The Sims, which sets it apart from clones in both those genres. There’s a zip and sense of humour here too, as you wander the galaxy trading and managing your crew.
iPhone / iPad

Farming Simulator 16 (£3.99 + IAP)
Finally: farming. The Farming Simulator series has built a fervent base of fans, and while it’s a more serious take on the area than the likes of FarmVille and Hay Day, the rhythms of managing your crops and livestock work perfectly for mobile play with a bit more meat to it.
iPhone / iPad

Those are my choices, but what have you been impressed by on iOS in the last couple of weeks? The comments section is open for your recommendations. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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